Iran protests after US soccer body modifies Iranian flag to show support for protesters

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Iran’s football federation on Sunday lodged a complaint to FIFA after US Soccer Federation (USSF) posted a modified Iranian flag in one of its social media posts. 

As per state news agency IRNA, the word “Allah” was removed from the Islamic Republic’s flag. 

“In an unprofessional act, the Instagram page of the US football federation removed the Allah symbol from the Iranian flag,” said the Iranian football federation. 

The now-deleted post showed the Group B table in which USA and Iran have been drawn together. The post carried the correct flags of all countries in the group, bar Iran whose flag’s green, white and red colours were present without the emblem. 

When quizzed if it was done on purpose, US soccer media officer Michael Kammarman said it was done to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights”. 

Read more; FIFA World Cup: Iran team in trouble, may face arrest for not singing national anthem vs England

unkindwhile, the US players said they were not aware of any post of such nature. 

“We didn’t know anything about the posts but we are supporters of women’s rights, we always have been,” said US defender Walker Zimmerman, before adding, “We’re focused a lot on Tuesday and the sporting side as well but at the same time we’re firm believers in women’s rights and support them.”

The death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September at the hands of Iran’s morality police has triggered a nationwide protest. Women, students, children and even men are demanding more freedom from the Iranian authorities. 

WATCH | Iran: Protests continue over Mahsa Amini’s death; over 300 protesters killed till now

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As a sign of protest, the Iranian football team in its opening match of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar did not sing the national anthem, attracting attention from across the globe.

However, after arrest threats were issued, the team sang the national anthem in the second match. 

US and Iran are all set to lock horns on Tuesday in what is being billed as a big-ticket encounter due to the cold relations between the two countries. The controversy surrounding the flag is only expected to add to the fire. 

Read more: FIFA World Cup 2022: After arrest threat, Iran players sing national anthem during Wales clash

(With inputs from agencies)

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