Asianet NewsableAsianet Newsable

War of words erupt after Iran demands US to be kicked out of Qatar World Cup 2022 amid social media flag row

The Iranian soccer federation says the US Men's National Team (USMNT) has "disrespected" its flag by showing it on social media without the emblem of the Islamic Republic.

football War of words erupt after Iran demands US to be kicked out of Qatar World Cup 2022 amid social media flag row snt
Author
First Published Nov 28, 2022, 4:57 PM IST

The Iranian soccer federation has stated the United States has "disrespected" its flag by showing it on social media without the emblem of the Islamic Republic.

In sympathy with demonstrators, the governing body of American soccer briefly removed the Islamic Republic of Iran's symbol from the Iranian flag and posted it on social media.

The graphic, published on the United States Soccer Federation's (USSF) official Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, has since been removed.

However, Iran claims this is insufficient and has demanded that America withdraw from the Qatar World Cup 2022.

Also read: Qatar World Cup 2022: Here's why Iran's team refused to sing national anthem ahead of England clash

The Islamic Republic's flag has three red, white, and green horizontal bands with the word "Allah" scripted in the middle.

According to a statement from the USSF, the word had been removed from the soccer federation's posts in a show of solidarity with the "women in Iran fighting for basic human rights" following the death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in the custody of morality police.

football War of words erupt after Iran demands US to be kicked out of Qatar World Cup 2022 amid social media flag row snt

The Iranian flag only featured its green, white, and red colours on the US men's national team Twitter account banner listing the team's group-stage matches.

The same was visible in a post outlining the group's current point totals on its Facebook and Instagram profiles.

On Facebook and Instagram, the posts with the revised flag had been deleted by Sunday afternoon, and the Twitter banner had been changed to the original flag with the symbol.

In 1980, the US and Iran ceased diplomatic relations.

Tuesday will see the nation's football teams square off in their final group-stage match, but on Sunday, a spokesman of the Iranian soccer federation demanded that America be kicked out of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar for an incident that they claimed had "disrespected" Iran's flag.

"Team USA should be kicked out of World Cup 2022," the Irani state-affiliated Tasnim News Agency tweeted two days after the USA drew 0-0 with England. "By posting a distorted image of the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran on its official account, the US football team breached the FIFA charter, for which a 10-game suspension is the appropriate penalty."

Safia Allah Faghanpour, the legal advisor to the Iranian Football Federation, explained the situation on ESPN. "Measures taken regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran flag are against international law and morality, and we'll pursue this through FIFA's morality committee," Faghanpour said.

"They must be held responsible. Obviously, they want to affect Iran's performance against the US by doing this," he added.

Also read: Ex-FIFA boss Sepp Blatter wants Iran to be excluded from Qatar World Cup 2022; here's why

The social media flag row has sparked a massive outburst among Twitter users. "Iran usually burns the USA flag so they can't moan that much," said one user, while another added, "99% of the time in Iran the USA flag is on fire."

In support of Iran's stance, one user said, "Where are you FIFA? In an unconventional move, the official page of the US national football team on Twitter removed the symbol of Allah from Iran's national flag." Another added, "The USA national team should be expelled from the World Cup for violating FIFA rules and removing the holy sign of IR Iran flag."

Here's a look at some of the other reactions on Twitter:

Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios