American football social accounts briefly change Iranian flag in World Cup posts

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DOHA, Qatar – The United States Soccer Federation has posted altered images of the Iranian flag on some of its social media accounts, a change that drew attention ahead of the U.S. men’s national team’s World Cup match against the United States. Iranians. The federation said the change was to show solidarity with protests around the country and that Sunday returned, reverting to the official flag.

The edit, which was visible on the U.S. men’s national team’s social media accounts, removed a symbol in the middle of the flag associated with Iranian religious leaders.

The image of the banner on the team Twitter account On Sunday morning, a flag sported the colors of Iran – red, green and white – but did not include a symbol added after the 1979 revolution, representing a stylized interpretation of the word “God”. A similar image was included in a recent tweet on the classification of group B. On Sunday afternoon, the official flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran replaced the modified image on the USA team’s Twitter account.

Iran faces the United States on Tuesday, the last group game for both teams.

In a statement released on Sunday morning, the USSF, which oversees all national teams, said the decision was made in recent days to “show support for women in Iran who are fighting for basic human rights.” The changes were temporary, the federation said.

A State Department official said the decision was not a coordinated effort between the department and the USSF. Players from the United States men’s national team were also not affected.

“We didn’t know anything about the posts, but we’re women’s rights supporters — we always have been,” U.S. defender Walker Zimmerman told a news conference.

American soccer players said on November 27 that they support women’s rights after the United States Soccer Federation briefly posted altered images of the Iranian flag on social media. (Video: Reuters)

Protests in Iran broke out in September after the death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody. They have since morphed into a nationwide uprising channeling a series of complaints against Iranian religious leaders. Hundreds of people have been killed in a crackdown on protests by authorities, according to human rights groups.

Iran’s World Cup win sparks joy, but tensions over protests linger

In Iran’s two previous matches, tensions have arisen between supporters and opponents of the government, particularly over the flag, with some anti-government critics waving a pre-revolution flag or concealing the symbol on the current flag with black duct tape. Vigorous debates took place within the protest movement over which flag to display.

The changes appeared on the Men’s National Team social media but not on the USSF website. For example, the page that contains the upcoming program displays the Iranian flag with the post-revolutionary symbol.

FIFA, the world governing body for football, declined to comment on the flag change.

European teams won’t use LGBTQ armbands at World Cup after FIFA threats

The USSF has already taken steps to show support for marginalized groups at this World Cup. In a media room at the team’s training center outside Doha, a large USSF logo on a wall features rainbow colors instead of red and blue, in support of the LGBTQ+ community. The display comes amid concerns over the treatment of LGBTQ fans in Qatara conservative Muslim nation that criminalizes homosexuality, as well as FIFA’s efforts to downplay the rainbow symbol, including saying it would penalize players who wear rainbow armbands.

There was no immediate reaction from the Iranian government to the flag change. A comment posted on the website of Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency on Sunday called the symbol’s removal a “strange and insulting action that was undoubtedly aimed at creating tension and destroying public attention.” Iranian team”.

The United States does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with Iran, but is engaged in a number of delicate negotiations with the country through third-party intermediaries, including an effort to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal. 2015.

Experts explain what exactly Iran’s morality police do and why women are risking their lives on the front lines to fight them. (Video: Julie Yoon/The Washington Post)

John Hudson contributed to this report.

World Cup in Qatar

USMNT: The The United States took on England in his second World Cup game on Friday. The match ended in a 0-0 draw, leaving the United States satisfied with their performance, but also leaving Group B extremely unsettled ahead of Tuesday’s finals.

Political protest: The looming backdrop to Iran’s World Cup campaign is a national protest movement back in the country targeting its clerical leaders, and tensions, inevitable and persistent, spread on the ground.

Perspective: The beautiful game is good. Suitcases full of cash are better. Read Sally Jenkins on the Qatar human rights controversy.

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