World Cup 2022: Iran wants U.S. team banned for changing Iranian flag in support of protests
The federation said it wanted to change the official flag for 24 hours only to “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights” before replacing it with the official flag
November 28, 2022 7:40am
Updated: November 28, 2022 11:03am
Iran is asking FIFA to remove the American team from the 2022 World Cup after the United States Soccer Federation changed Iran’s flag on its social media platform in support of the protests in Iran.
The U.S. Soccer Federation briefly shared a post on its official Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook showing the Iranian flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic on Saturday.
The federation told CNN that it wanted to change the official flag for 24 hours only to “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights” before replacing it with the official flag.
Protests in Iran began on September 17 after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was in police custody for allegedly failing to adhere to the country’s strict hijab rules and wearing “inappropriate attire.”
According to the United Nations, more than 300 people, including children, have died and 1,400 arrested in the government crackdown on the protests.
The move sparked criticism from Iran, who filed a complaint with FIFA and is asking that the U.S. be immediately kicked out of the world soccer tournament and be suspended for 10 games.
“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.”
According to section 13 of FIFA rules, “any person who offends the dignity or integrity of a country, a person or group of people shall be sanctioned with a suspension lasting at least 10 matches or a specific period, or any other appropriate disciplinary measure.”
FIFA has refused to comment on the issue. However, sources have suggested that a ban on the U.S. team is unlikely.
Iran and the U.S. are set to play against each other on Tuesday in a crucial match for group B.