Iran is demanding that the United States be expelled from the World Cup after the U.S. Men’s National Team posted an image on its official social media accounts of Iran’s national flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic. The United States Soccer Federation said that it made the decision to edit the official flag’s appearance to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights.”
However, the Iranian government has accused the U.S. of “removing the name of God” from its national flag. The state-affiliated Tasnim News Agency in Iran tweeted on Sunday: “By posting a distorted image of the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran on its official account, the U.S. football team breached the FIFA charter, for which a 10-game suspension is the appropriate penalty. Team USA should be kicked out of World Cup 2022.”
In mid-September, demonstrations began in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by Iran’s morality police. According to Human Rights Activists in Iran, an organization that has been tracking the demonstrations, at least 450 people have been killed and over 18,000 have been arrested since the protests began.