Iran is calling for the United States to be removed from the 2022 World Cup after it changed the Iranian flag on social media to show its support for the protesters | CNN


Iranian state media has called for the United States to be expelled from the 2022 World Cup after the US Soccer Federation changed the Iranian flag on social media platforms to show support for protesters in Iran.

The federation temporarily displayed the Iranian national flag on its official Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts without the emblem of the Islamic Republic. A now-deleted drawing of the Group B standings, published on Saturday, showed the Iranian flag sporting only its green, white and red colours.

US Soccer told CNN on Sunday that it wanted to change the official flag for 24 hours to show “support for women in Iran who are fighting for basic human rights” but always plans to return to the original flag.

US Soccer told CNN that the change “was a one-time fee.” “We have the main flag on our website and elsewhere.” logo is Currently on the flag On US Soccer’s social media channels.

A State Department spokesperson told CNN that it did not coordinate with the American football team on the sports body’s decision to change the Iranian flag on its social media accounts to show support for protesters in Iran.

“We look forward to a peaceful and competitive game on the field. The United States continues to find ways to support the Iranian people in the face of state-sponsored violence against women and brutal repression against peaceful protesters,” the State Department told CNN.

Iranian state media reported on Sunday that the United States should be immediately expelled from the tournament and suspended for 10 matches over a “distorted image” of the country’s flag.

“By posting a distorted image of the flag of the Islamic Republic of #Iran on its official account, the #US Soccer Team has violated the FIFAcom @Charter, for which a 10-match suspension is an appropriate punishment,” the pro-Iranian Tasnim news agency wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “The #USA team should be expelled from the #WorldCup2022.”

FIFA did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Iran and the United States play each other on Tuesday in a crucial Group B match. It is a match that the United States must win if they are to advance to the knockout stages.

Iran appears in the World Cup under the shadow of internal turmoil. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, said the country is going through a “full-blown human rights crisis” as the authorities crack down on opponents of the regime.

The protests, which experts have pointed to as the most significant since the establishment of clerical rule in the aftermath of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and violence has rocked Iran in recent months and threatened the nature of the regime in the country, which has been in power for more than 40 years. .

The incident was sparked by the death of Mohsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died after being detained by Iran’s morality police, allegedly for not adhering to the country’s conservative dress code. Iranian security forces unleashed a violent response.

The latest dispute comes after a day of problems before the two teams faced off in Group B in Doha at Al Thumama Stadium.

USA Soccer’s decision came on the same day that Jurgen Klinsmann, the former head coach of the US National Soccer Team, said he would try to talk Iran coach, Carlos Queiroz, into “smoothing things” after she called Klinsmann’s comments about Iran’s culture “outrageous”. “. Notes.”

After Iran’s 2-0 victory over Wales on Friday, Klinsmann discussed Iran’s stance on the game of football, led by Queiroz, during a BBC panel discussion.

“This is their culture, this is their way of doing it and that’s why Carlos Queiroz fits so well into the Iranian national team,” Klinsmann said. He struggled in South America. He failed with Colombia to qualify and then with Egypt he failed to qualify as well and then he came back just before the World Cup now and led Iran where he actually worked for a very long time.

This is not accidental. This is all on purpose. This is just part of their culture. This is how they play and work the referee. I’ve seen the seat always jump, the fourth umpire, the fourth umpire always running on the sideline, constantly running into their ears. They’re always up to you on the field.”

The 1990 World Cup winner continued: “This is their culture and it kind of makes you lose focus and makes you lose focus and what’s really important to you.”

On Saturday, Queiroz hit back at Klinsmann in Tweets series.

“Even if you don’t know me personally,” Queiroz wrote, “you question my character with a typical biased judgment of superiority.” “No matter how much I respect what you did on the field, these statements about Iran’s culture, Iran’s national team and players are a disgrace to football. No one can harm our integrity if they are not at our level of course.”

Queiroz added, “As an American/German, we understand your lack of support. No problem. And despite your blunt remarks on the BBC trying to undermine our efforts, our sacrifices and our skills, we promise that we will not be judgmental about your culture, roots and background and that you will always be welcome in the our family “.

In a statement, the Iranian Football Federation demanded that Klinsmann apologize and resign from his position in the Qatar 2022 Technical Study Group with FIFA. Iran said it had asked FIFA for “immediate clarifications on this matter”.

CNN has reached out to FIFA for comment but did not have a response at the time of publication.

On Sunday, Klinsmann said on the BBC’s Breakfast programme: “There are things that have already been taken out of context. I’ll try to contact him and calm things down. I’ve never criticized Carlos or the Iranian bench. Some even thought I was criticizing the referee because he didn’t do anything about it.” The way they act on the bench.

“All I’ve described is their emotional way of doing things, which is really impressive in a certain way. The whole bench lives the game. They jump up and down and Carlos is a very emotional coach. He’s always on the sidelines trying to give his players all his energy and direction.”

The federation invited Klinsmann to visit Team Melli’s camp in Doha and “to give a lecture on Persian millennial culture and the values ​​of football and sports”.

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