This comes at a time when the United States faces Iran in the World Cup decider, which has already been marred by decades of enmity between the two countries and nationwide protests that are currently rocking the theocratic government in Tehran. was broken
The U.S. Soccer Federation announced in a statement Sunday morning that it has decided to remove the official flag from its social media accounts to “give support to women in Iran who are fighting for basic human rights.”
On the Twitter account of the American men’s team, a banner with the team’s matches in the group stage was hung, and the Iranian flag carried only its green, white and red colors. The same can be seen in a post on his Facebook and Instagram accounts showing the total points so far in his group.
By Sunday afternoon, the normal flag with the emblem was edited into the Twitter banner as attention to it increased.
The federation said, “We wanted to show our support for Iranian women with our 24-hour graphic.”
The US Soccer Federation has displayed the official flag of Iran on its website with a graphic showing the standings of Group B.
The brief absence of the emblem comes amid months of protests against the Iranian government over the September 16 killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained by the country’s moral police.
At least 450 people have been killed and more than 18,000 arrested since the protests began, according to Human Rights Watch in Iran, an advocacy group following the protests.
Iran’s UN mission and its soccer federation did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press. As the comments spread online, Iranian state television described the US federation as “removing the symbol of God” from the Iranian flag.
Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Safiollah Fegahanpour, the adviser of the Iran Football Federation, as saying that the measures taken regarding the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran are against the laws of FIFA competitions.
“They should be held accountable,” Fagahanpour said. It seems that they want to influence Iran’s performance against the United States.
The emblem of the Islamic Republic, which was created in 1980, is four circles with a sword between them. It represents the Islamic saying: “There is no god but God.” It also resembles a tulip or lotus.
On top and bottom of the flag there are also 22 inscriptions “God is Great”, which is the date of the entry of the Islamic Revolution in the Persian calendar.
The flag in the World Cup has become a point of discussion. Outspoken pro-government supporters waved him off, and shouted at those who protested Amini’s death. Others carried Iran’s lion and sun flag, the emblem of its former ruler, the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, during the matches.
More security forces were seen at Iran’s final match against Wales. In the capital Tehran, riot police – the same people who crack down on protesters – raised the Iranian flag after Wales’ victory, angering protesters.