With the World Cup now in full swing, soccer fans are finding themselves being treated to one of the most exciting, and controversial incarnations of the contest in some time…with a great deal of the drama coming from the United States for a change.
First, there’s the fact that the US was able to scrap together a draw against England – a futbol powerhouse if there ever was one. Soccer experts the world over were somewhat stunned, and begin to declare that the United States team was a top-tier competitor.
But then came the real drama, as USMNT officials made a minor graphical protest against the regime of Iran, (in wake of the inhumane crackdown against protesters in that country), and Tehran’s supporters simply lost their minds.
The U.S. Soccer Federation irked Iran ahead of their pivotal Group B match on Tuesday when it displayed the country’s national flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic, saying the move supported protesters in Iran.
Iran’s government reacted by accusing America of removing the name of God from its national flag.Trending:
U.S. Soccer said in a statement Sunday morning it decided to forego the official flag on social media accounts to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights.” The Twitter account of the U.S. men’s team displayed a banner for the squad’s matches in the group stage, with the Iranian flag only bearing its green, white and red colors. The same was seen in a post on its Facebook and Instagram accounts.
The move was only temporary.
But by Sunday afternoon, the normal flag with the emblem had been restored in the Twitter banner and on the Facebook and Instagram posts.
“We wanted to show our support for the women in Iran with our graphic for 24 hours,” the federation said.
Iran, further tarnishing their international reputation, then did their most asinine whining yet.
Iran’s football federation filed a complaint to FIFA’s ethics committee, according to The Guardian. The official called for a ban.
“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 10 matches or a specific period, or any other appropriate disciplinary measure,” a legal adviser to Iran’s soccer federation told the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
When your reaction to a protest is to attack the protester, and not address the issue that incited the protest, you’ve certainly lost all credibility with the international community.
America will move on to the next round of the World Cup with a win against Iran on Tuesday.