CNN

Iran wants US out of World Cup after change made to Iranian flag

Nov 27, 2022, 8:08 PM | Updated: Nov 28, 2022, 10:56 am
DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 25: A giant flag of IR Iran on the pitch prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2...
DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 25: A giant flag of IR Iran on the pitch prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between Wales and IR Iran at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

   (CNN) — Iran state media has called for the US to be kicked out of the 2022 World Cup after the United States Soccer Federation changed Iran’s flag on its social media platforms to show support for protesters in Iran.

The federation had temporarily displayed Iran’s national flag on its official Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts without the emblem of the Islamic Republic. A now-deleted graphic of the Group B standings posted on Saturday displayed the Iranian flag only bearing its green, white and red colors.

US Soccer told CNN on Sunday that it wanted to change the official flag for 24 hours to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights” but always planned to go back to the original flag.

The change “was a one-time graphic,” US Soccer told CNN. “We have the main flag on our website and other places.” The emblem is currently back on the flag on US Soccer’s social media channels.

A spokesperson for the State Department told CNN it did not coordinate with US Soccer in the sporting body’s decision to change Iran’s flag on its social media accounts to show support for protesters in Iran.

“We look forward to a peaceful and competitive match on the field. The United States continues to find ways to support the Iranian people in the face of state-sponsored violence against women and a brutal crackdown against peaceful protestors,” the State Department told CNN.

Iran state media reported Sunday that the United States should be immediately kicked out of the tournament and suspended for 10 games for a “distorted image” of the country’s flag.

“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,” Iran state-aligned Tasnim news agency wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “Team #USA should be kicked out of the #WorldCup2022.”

FIFA did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Iran and the US play each other on Tuesday in a crucial Group B match. It is a must-win tie for the US if it is to progress to the knockout stages.

Iran is appearing at this World Cup under the shadow of domestic turmoil. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Chief, Volker Turk, has said that the country is in a “full-fledged human rights crisis” as authorities clamp down on anti-regime dissidents.

Protests, referred to by experts as the most significant since the establishment of clerical rule following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and violence have rocked Iran in recent months and threatened the very nature of the country’s regime, which has been in power for more than 40 years.

It was sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died after being detained by Iran’s morality police, allegedly for not abiding by the country’s conservative dress code. Iranian security forces have unleashed a violent response.

Klinsmann comments branded ‘outrageous remarks’

The latest controversy comes after a day of issues ahead of the two teams’ Group B clash in Doha at the Al Thumama Stadium.

US Soccer’s decision came on the same day the former US Men’s National Team’s (USMNT) head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he will try to speak with Iran’s manager, Carlos Queiroz, to “calm things down” after Klinsmann’s comments about Iran’s culture were branded “outrageous remarks.”

Following Iran’s 2-0 victory over Wales on Friday, Klinsmann discussed Iran’s attitude toward the game of soccer, led by Queiroz, during a panel discussion on the BBC.

“That’s their culture and that’s their way of doing it and that’s why Carlos Queiroz, he fits really well in the Iranian national team,” Klinsmann said. “He struggled in South America. He failed with Colombia to qualify then he failed with Egypt to qualify as well and then he went back right before the World Cup now and guided Iran where he worked already for a long, long time.

“This is not by coincidence. This is all purposely. This is just part of their culture. That’s how they play it and they work the referee. You saw the bench always jumping off, always working the fourth, the linesmen and the fourth referee on the sideline, constantly in their ears. They’re constantly in your face on the field.”

The 1990 World Cup winner continued: “This is their culture and they kind of make you lose your focus and make you lose your concentration and what’s really important to you.”

On Saturday, Queiroz responded to Klinsmann in a series of tweets.

“Even not knowing me personally, you question my character with a typical prejudiced judgment of superiority,” Queiroz wrote. “No matter how much I can respect what you did inside the pitch, those remarks about Iran Culture, Iran National Team and my Players are a disgrace to Football. Nobody can hurt our integrity if it is not at our level, of course.”

Queiroz added: “As American/German, we understand your no support. No problem. And despite your outrageous remarks on BBC trying to undermine our efforts, sacrifices and skills, we promise you that we will not produce any judgments regarding your culture, roots and background and that you will always be welcome to our Family.”

The Iran Football Federation, in a statement, demanded Klinsmann apologize and resign from his Qatar 2022 Technical Study Group position with FIFA. Iran said it has asked FIFA “for immediate clarification on this matter.”

CNN has reached out to FIFA for comment but did not get a response at time of publication.

On Sunday, Klinsmann said on BBC Breakfast: “There was stuff really taken out of context. I will try to give him a call and calm things down. I have never criticized Carlos or the Iranian bench. Some even thought I was criticizing the referee because he didn’t do anything about the way they were behaving on the bench.

“All I described was their emotional way of doing things, which is actually admirable in a certain way. The whole bench lives the game. They’re jumping up and down and Carlos is a very emotional coach. He’s constantly on the sidelines trying to give his players all his energy and direction.”

The federation invited Klinsmann to visit Team Melli Camp in Doha and “for a lecture on the millennial Persian culture and the values of football and sport.”

Related: World Cup: Soccer fans stopped by security officials for wearing rainbow-colored items as LGBTQ+ rights issue won’t go away at Qatar 2022

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

A view of a destroyed building is pictured here after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake jolts Turkey's Kah...
Rhea Mogul, Gul Tuysuz, Isil Sariyuce, Kareem El Damanhoury and Rob Picheta, CNN

More than 4,300 dead in Turkey and Syria after powerful quake

(CNN) — More than 4,300 people have died and rescuers are racing to pull survivors from beneath the rubble after a devastating earthquake ripped through Turkey and Syria, leaving destruction and debris on each side of the border. One of the strongest earthquakes to hit the region in a century shook residents from their beds at around […]
8 hours ago
President Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic National Committee Winter Meeting, Friday, Feb. 3, 202...
Phil Mattingly and Kevin Liptak, CNN

Biden to test run his reelection message in his first State of the Union to a divided Congress

Biden believes the accomplishments he will present Tuesday are durable and wide-ranging -- and that his message on the economy and the US' role in the world is as resonant as it is animating for his presidency.
8 hours ago
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Hilton ...
Zachary Cohen, CNN

Exclusive: US intel assessment documents Chinese spy balloon incident under Trump

(CNN) — A US military intelligence report from last year that focused on China’s use of high-altitude balloons mentioned sightings in Hawaii and Florida during the Trump presidency, according to an excerpt of the report reviewed by CNN. The April 2022 report, titled “People’s Republic of China High-Altitude Balloon,” found a Chinese spy balloon “circumnavigated […]
8 hours ago
balloons...
By Natasha Bertrand and Haley Britzky, CNN

Pentagon says it had ‘an awareness gap’ that led to failure to detect 3 Chinese balloons under Trump

The American military had a "domain awareness gap" that allowed 3 other suspected Chinese spy balloons to transit the United States undetected
1 day ago
Breakfast Sandwiches are one of hundreds of recalled products. (CNN, stock)...
Nouran Salahieh, CNN

More than 400 products including breakfast sandwiches and fruit cups recalled due to possible Listeria contamination

"The recall was initiated after the company's environmental samples tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes," Fresh Ideation Food Group said in its recall announcement.
1 day ago
A building destroyed by the turkey and syria earthquake is pictured...
Rhea Mogul, Gul Tuysuz, Isil Sariyuce, Kareem El Damanhoury and Rob Picheta, CNN

More than 3,400 dead as powerful quake hits southern Turkey and Syria

One of the strongest earthquakes to hit the region in a century shook residents from their beds at around 4 a.m. on Monday, sending tremors as far away as Lebanon and Israel.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Iran wants US out of World Cup after change made to Iranian flag