Iran files complaint to FIFA over removal of flag emblem by US team
Tensions are running high as Iran and the US are to face off in a 'knockout game' for Group B on 29 November
By News Desk - November 27 2022

The initial banner published by the US Men’s team, showing the altered version of Iran’s flag
(Photo Credit: Twitter)

The US Men’s National Soccer Team has come under fire for a since-deleted tweet in which the football association displayed Iran’s national flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic on 27 November.

The team shared a banner showing the Group B standings, which included the altered flag. The same was initially shared on Facebook and Instagram. The decision was allegedly a subtle move in solidarity with the protests in Iran and a show of support for Iranian women’s rights.

In response, Iran’s football federation filed a complaint to FIFA against the US soccer federation for removing the word “Allah” from the Iranian flag, demanding serious measures by FIFA.

Political activist Camellia Senemar published a tweet about the alteration, claiming that she previously spoke with “US soccer staff” in Qatar and asked them to remove the symbol. She, too, has since deleted her tweet.

Senemar was previously interviewed by CNN after trying to attend the Iran-Wales match wearing a patch that says “Women, Life, Freedom” – the slogan of the Iran protests – in condemnation of “Iran’s crackdown on protestors.”

The deleted tweet by the US Men’s team was met with a wave of backlash from Iranians and non-Iranians alike, many of whom also pointed out that the action was in violation of Article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, which carries a suspension of 10 matches.

Following the criticism, the team discreetly deleted its tweet and replaced all its social media banners with visuals displaying the Islamic Republic’s actual flag.

A day earlier, Iran’s national football coach, Carlos Queiroz, took to Twitter to criticize former US coach and German national football player Jurgen Klinsmann for his borderline racist remarks against Iran’s national team on the BBC.

Klinsmann claimed Iran played unfairly by constantly being “in the referee’s ear” while distracting the other team, “making them lose focus,” and attributing it to “their culture.”

The Qatar World Cup 2022 has been a stage for western nations in what many have described as “virtue signaling,” including Germany’s free-speech protest ahead of their opening game against Japan.

Additionally, in response to London’s transport authorities banning the Gulf State’s advertising for the World Cup due to its anti-homosexuality laws, Qatar is reportedly reviewing its investments in the city.

On Tuesday, 29 November, Iran will face off against the US in a “knockout game” for group B. A victory, or even a draw, would be enough for Iran to qualify for the next tournament round if England beats or ties with Wales in their upcoming match. Iran is currently in second place in group B, with a 2-0 late victory against Wales.

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