WORLD NEWS

Iran wants US team out of 2022 World Cup after it changes Iran flag on social media

Nov 27, 2022, 4:22 PM
A giant flag of IR Iran on the pitch prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between W...
A giant flag of IR Iran on the pitch prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between Wales and Iran at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
(Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Iran state media has called for the US to be kicked out of the 2022 World Cup after the United States Soccer Federation changed Iran’s flag on its social media platforms to show support for protesters in Iran.

The federation had temporarily displayed Iran’s national flag on its official Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts without the emblem of the Islamic Republic. A now-deleted graphic of the Group B standings posted on Saturday displayed the Iranian flag only bearing its green, white and red colors.

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

The change “was a one-time graphic,” US Soccer told CNN. “We have the main flag on our website and other places.” The emblem is currently back on the flag on US Soccer’s social media channels.

A spokesperson for the State Department told CNN it did not coordinate with US Soccer in the sporting body’s decision to change Iran’s flag on its social media accounts to show support for protesters in Iran.

“We look forward to a peaceful and competitive match 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 a brutal crackdown against peaceful protestors,” the State Department told CNN.

Iran state media reported Sunday that the United States should be immediately kicked out of the tournament and suspended for 10 games for 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 football team breached the @FIFAcom charter, for which a 10-game suspension is the appropriate penalty,” Iran state-aligned Tasnim news agency wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “Team #USA should be kicked out of the #WorldCup2022.”

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

Iran and the US play each other on Tuesday in a crucial Group B match. It is a must-win tie for the US if it is to progress to the knockout stages.

Iran is appearing at this World Cup under the shadow of domestic turmoil. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Chief, Volker Turk, has said that the country is in a “full-fledged human rights crisis” as authorities clamp down on anti-regime dissidents.

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

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

 

Klinsmann comments branded ‘outrageous remarks’

 

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

US Soccer’s decision came on the same day the former US Men’s National Team’s (USMNT) head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he will try to speak with Iran’s manager, Carlos Queiroz, to “calm things down” after Klinsmann’s comments about Iran’s culture were branded “outrageous remarks.”

Following Iran’s 2-0 victory over Wales on Friday, Klinsmann discussed Iran’s attitude toward the game of soccer, led by Queiroz, during a panel discussion on the BBC.

“That’s their culture and that’s their way of doing it and that’s why Carlos Queiroz, he fits really well in the Iranian national team,” Klinsmann said. “He struggled in South America. He failed with Colombia to qualify then he failed with Egypt to qualify as well and then he went back right before the World Cup now and guided Iran where he worked already for a long, long time.

“This is not by coincidence. This is all purposely. This is just part of their culture. That’s how they play it and they work the referee. You saw the bench always jumping off, always working the fourth, the linesmen and the fourth referee on the sideline, constantly in their ears. They’re constantly in your face on the field.”

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

On Saturday, Queiroz responded to Klinsmann in a series of tweets.

“Even not knowing me personally, you question my character with a typical prejudiced judgment of superiority,” Queiroz wrote. “No matter how much I can respect what you did inside the pitch, those remarks about Iran Culture, Iran National Team and my Players are a disgrace to Football. Nobody can hurt our integrity if it is not at our level, of course.”

Queiroz added: “As American/German, we understand your no support. No problem. And despite your outrageous remarks on BBC trying to undermine our efforts, sacrifices and skills, we promise you that we will not produce any judgments regarding your culture, roots and background and that you will always be welcome to our Family.”

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

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

On Sunday, Klinsmann said on BBC Breakfast: “There was stuff really taken out of context. I will try to give him a call and calm things down. I have never criticized Carlos or the Iranian bench. Some even thought I was criticizing the referee because he didn’t do anything about the way they were behaving on the bench.

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

The federation invited Klinsmann to visit Team Melli Camp in Doha and “for a lecture on the millennial Persian culture and the values of football and sport.”


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

World News

A view of a destroyed building is pictured here after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake jolts Turkey's Kah...
Rhea Mogul, Gul Tuysuz, Isil Sariyuce, Kareem El Damanhoury and Rob Picheta, CNN

More than 1,500 dead as powerful quake hits southern Turkey and Syria

More than 1,500 people have died and rescuers are racing to pull survivors from beneath the rubble after a devastating earthquake ripped through Turkey and Syria.
7 hours ago
A view of a destroyed building is pictured here after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake jolts Turkey's Kah...
Rhea Mogul, Gul Tuysuz and Isil Sariyuce

At least 118 dead as 7.8-magnitude earthquake hits southern Turkey

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook central Turkey early Monday and was followed by a strong aftershock.
1 day ago
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JUNE 29:  Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet gives a statement to the press ...
Tia Goldenberg

Former Israeli PM: Putin promised not to kill Zelenskyy

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says he drew a promise from the Russian president not to kill his Ukrainian counterpart.
1 day ago
This photo purports to show the suspected Chinese balloon flying over Mills River, North Carolina, ...
Heather Chen and Wayne Chang

China says it ‘reserves the right’ to deal with ‘similar situations’ after US jets shoot down suspected spy balloon

China says it "reserves the right" to deal with "similar situations" following the United States' decision to shoot down its high-altitude balloon.
1 day ago
Edgardo Greco, a convicted murderer linked to Italy's most powerful organized crime group, the 'Ndr...
Barbie Nadeau

Mafia boss found working as pizza boss after 16 years on the run

The Italian anti-Mafia police have arrested another mobster on the run where he was working under the alias Paolo Dimitrio as a pizzaiolo -- or pizza chef.
2 days ago
An Egyptian archeologist speaks at a recently discovered tomb dated to the Old Kingdom, 2700–2200...
MOHAMED WAGDY

Egypt unveils tombs and sarcophagus in new excavation

Egypt on Thursday unveiled dozens of new archaeological discoveries, including two ancient tombs, at a Pharaonic necropolis just outside of the capital Cairo.
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Iran wants US team out of 2022 World Cup after it changes Iran flag on social media