After US Soccer changes Iranian flag on social media, Iran calls for US to be kicked out of 2022 World Cup


Iran is the center of the US state to kick off the 2022 World Cup, after the United States Soccer Federation in Iran changed the flag on its social media platforms to show support for the protesters in Iran.

The federation has temporarily displayed Iran’s national flag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, without the Islamic Republic’s logo. A now-deleted graphic posted by Group B on Saturday shows the Iranian flag carrying only its own colors of green, white and red.

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

The change “was a one-time graphic,” US News told CNN. “We have the main flag in our place and other places.” It is insignificant currently on top of the standard on US Relay’s social media channels.

A spokesman for the State Department said that CNN did not coordinate with the US soccer body’s decision to change Iran’s flag on social media accounts to show support for the protesters in Iran.

“We look forward to a peaceful and competitive match in the field. The United States continues to find ways to support Iran against people against state-sponsored violence and against peaceful protesters in a violent collapse,” the State Department told CNN.

US Soccer Federation screenshots showing Iran's national flag on social media without the Islamic Republic's logo.

Iran’s state media announced on Sunday that the United States should be immediately out of the tournament and suspended for 10 games for “distorting the image” of the country’s flag.

“By placing a distorted image of the flag of the Islamic Republic of #Iran on a public billboard, the #US soccer team has violated @FIFAcom’s charter, resulting in a 10-game suspension,” Iran’s state-aligned Tasnim news agency wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “Team #USA should be kicked out of #WorldCup2022.”

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

Iran and the US play each other on Tuesday in a crucial B match. It is a must win for the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) if they are to advance to the knockout stage.

On Monday, USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said the team “knows what has extinguished US soccer,” but issued an apology for the display.

“The staff, the players, we didn’t know … Our focus is on this competition and I don’t want to sound distant or saying we don’t care,” Berhalter said in a regularly scheduled news conference on Monday.

“Certainly my thoughts are with the people of Iran, the whole country, the whole team, everyone. But our focus is on this match.

Sometimes they are out of our control, added Berhalter. “We believe that it will be a match, depending on the outcome of who concentrates more work and who performs better on the field.

“We are not focused on extra things and we can apologize for everything for the players and the staff, but it is not something that we were a part of.”

Berhalter insisted that the noise surrounding any of Tuesday’s matches is not impacting the preparation of the US players.

“What I see from this group is this amount of focus,” Berhalter said. “It’s not true about handicaps. I know there’s a lot going on here but the group is focused on how to win.”

Iran appears in this World Cup under the shadow of domestic unrest. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Chief Volker Turk said the country is in a full-blown human rights crisis as authorities clamp down on anti-government dissidents.

Protests, hailed by experts as the most important since the establishment of clerical rule following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and violence have roiled Iran in recent months and threatened the nature of the country’s regime, which has been in power for more than 40 years. .

She was moved by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 20-year-old woman who was detained after Iran’s morality police allegedly failed to abide by the country’s conservative dress code. Iranian security forces have a violent response.

The latest controversy comes after a day of proceedings before the two Group B teams clash in Doha at the Al Thumama Stadium.

US Soccer’s decision came the same day former USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he would try to talk to Iran’s manager, Carlos Queiroz, to “calm things down” after Klinsmann’s comments about Iran’s culture were “called disrespectful.”

After Iran’s 2-0 victory over Victoria on Friday, Klinsmann discussed Iran’s attitude to the game of soccer, led by Queiroz, in a panel discussion on the BBC.

“This is their culture and it’s way of doing things and that’s why Carlos Queiroz fits really well in the Iranian national team,” Klinsmann said.

“He competed in South America. He failed to qualify with Colombia then failed to qualify with Egypt as well and then retired before the World Cup and now he has managed Iran where he has been struggling for a long time.

“This didn’t happen. This is all on purpose. This is just part of their culture. This is how they play and how they referee.

You saw the bench always jumping, always the fourth, the runner and the fourth referee on the side, constantly in their ears. They are always in the field.

Klinsmann has been a manager and pundit since retiring from football.

The 1990 World Cup winner continued: “This is their culture and they make you lose your focus and make you lose your concentration and what is really important to you.”

On Monday, Klinsmann clarified that his comments were “only football related”.

“Unfortunately, this was taken out of the context of the ball,” he added. “I had many Iranian friends and was always full of respect for the people, culture, and history. I only want the best in the tournament. ”

On Saturday, Queiroz responded to Klinsmann’s comments on the BBC. answered a series of tweets.

“Even without knowing me personally, you question my character, with a prejudiced judgment typical of excellence,” Queiroz wrote. “As much as I can respect what you have done inside the pitch, these words about Iranian Culture, the Iranian National Team and my players are a disgrace to Football. No one can harm our integrity except at our level, of course.

Queiroz added: “America/Germany, we don’t understand any of your support. It’s not possible. And although we will try to undermine our studies, sacrifices and skills as you say in the BBC, we promise you that we will not make any judgments about your culture, roots and goals, and our families We would always be grateful.”

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

Roncus reached out to FIFA for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

On Sunday, Klinsmann said on BBC Breakfast: “It was really taken out of context. I will try to give him an appeal and calm everything down. He never criticized Carlos or the Iranian policy. Some even thought that I was criticizing the referee for not doing anything in the way of planning.

“For we have all described their emotional behavior, which is actually somewhat admirable.” The entire seat lives in the game. They jump up and down and Carlos is a very emotional coach. He constantly tries to leave the players to give all his energy and direction.

The Federation invited Klinsmann to visit the Team Melli Camp in Doha and “to an audience about the Persian culture of the millennium and the values ​​of the game”.


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