Iranian state media is calling for the U.S. World Cup soccer team to be thrown out of the 2022 tournament in Qatar after it briefly changed the icon of the Iranian flag on its social media accounts in support of protests taking place in the country.
The United States Soccer Federation, in its social media posts over the weekend, featured the flags of the countries competing in Group B, which includes a match between the U.S. and Iran on Tuesday. In the posts, the Iranian flag icon was missing its Islamic Republic emblem, and only showed its red, white and green stripes.
Tuesday’s match is a crucial one that already has drawn political undertones. Whoever wins will proceed to the knockout stages. 바카라사이트
Iranian media reacted swiftly, with state media agency Tasnim calling for the U.S. team to be booted from the tournament.
“By posting a distorted image of the flag of the Islamic Republic of #Iran on its official account, the #US football team breached the FIFAcom charter, for which a 10-game suspension is the appropriate penalty. Team should be kicked out of the #WorldCup2022,” Tasnim News Agency wrote in a post on its official Twitter account.
In a follow-up tweet, it added: “The legal advisor of the Iranian Football Federation says the sports association will file a complaint against the US Soccer Team to FIFA’s Ethics Committee after the US Men’s National Soccer Team disrespected the national flag of Islamic Republic of Iran.”
The U.S. Soccer Federation, in a comment to CNN, said it changed the flag for 24 hours to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights,” but added that it always intended on changing it back.
In an Instagram post from the U.S. Soccer men’s national team on Sunday promoting the Iran-U.S. match, the official Iranian flag was featured along with the designation “IR Iran,” which stands for Islamic Republic.
U.S.-based Iranian activist Elica Le Bon commented on the U.S. team’s move in an Instagram post, saying, “The U.S. took a huge stand here by removing the emblem from the fraudulent Islamic Republic’s flag that has become for Iranians a symbol of torture, suffering, and oppression. This is NOT our flag. Thank you thank you thank you.”