Sport

Iran state media want the USA kicked out of the World Cup

"We didn't know anything about the post" - USA on Iran flag …

There’s set to be extra tension during Iran and the USA’s game on Tuesday, after Iran state media called for their forthcoming opponents to be kicked out of the tournament.

The country has called on FIFA to ban the USA following a social media post in which they didn’t include the "Allah" and "takbirs" emblems from the flag. Instead, the flag just contained the three block colours green, white and red.

The state-affiliated Iran media Tasnim News Agency claimed that by doing so, FIFA’s regulations had been broken.

"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 ten matches or a specific period, or any other appropriate disciplinary measure,” it wrote.

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The agency claimed that the game should no longer go ahead, writing: “The USMNT official account tweeted an image of how Group B currently stands but didn't include the Islamic Republic's ‘Allah’ emblem and the ‘takbirs’ from Iran's three-coloured flag on the image.

“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. Team #USA should be kicked out of the #WorldCup2022.”

The USSF said in a statement Sunday morning that it decided to make the change to "support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights."

The debate will inevitably add an edge to Tuesday's gameCatherine Ivill/Getty Images

It had been changed back to the normal flag by Sunday afternoon. "We wanted to show our support for the women in Iran with our graphic for 24 hours," the federation said.

The World Cup comes as the country faces civil unrest. The Iran players chose to not sing the national anthem ahead of their 6-2 loss to England in a show of unity with anti-government protesters.

The players’ protest came following weeks of violent protests in Iran, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody in September.

Amini, 22, had been detained by morality police for allegedly breaking the strict rules around head coverings. Her subsequent death sparked protests and the biggest challenge to Iran’s rulers in years.

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