Iran complains to FIFA over US flag change
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Iran’s soccer federation has complained to FIFA after the Islamic Republic’s emblem was removed from its flag in social media posts by the United States team.
Ahead of their World Cup meeting on Tuesday, the USA removed the Allah symbol from graphics posted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The United States said it decided not to use Iran’s official flag to show “support for the women of Iran who are fighting for basic human rights,” amid massive anti-government protests in the country.
The protests in Iran, met with heavy repression, have been sparked by death in custody in September of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was arrested by the morality police for allegedly breaking the strict rules on head coverings.
“In an unprofessional act, the US soccer federation’s Instagram page removed the symbol of Allah from the Iranian flag,” Iran’s state news agency IRNA said.
“The Iranian Football Federation sent an email to FIFA [football’s world governing body] to demand a serious notice from the American federation.”
A U.S. Soccer spokesman later said the posts had been removed and replaced with others using the correct Iranian flag, but added: “We still support the women of Iran.”
Iran has accused the US and other foreign adversaries of inciting the protests, and the US government has imposed sanctions on Iranian officials over the crackdown.
The US and Iran severed diplomatic relations in 1980.
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