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The United States and Iran are set to square off on Tuesday for a World Cup match. There’s a chance it will get heated on the field.
That’s because it already has off the field.
Iran is calling for the United States to be slapped with a 10-game ban for “offending the dignity” of the nation.
The US Soccer Federation Twitter account posted — then later deleted — an image of the Iranian flag. However, that flag was missing the emblem of the Islamic Republic. This was done to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights.”
That didn’t sit well with Iran. They filed a complaint with FIFA’s Ethics Committee (which is quite the oxymoron).
Iranian news agency Tasnim reported that a legal advisor to the national team had tipped them off to the complaint, according to The Guardian.
“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,” it said.
The Iranian Flag Has Already Been At The Center Of Controversy At The World Cup
It sure seems like Iran is trying all possible avenues to get into the next round of the World Cup. However, just one week into the World Cup, this is the second time the Iranian flag has been at the center of controversy.
Some fans who oppose the current Iranian were spotted waving flags from the nation’s previous regime. That flag features a lion and a sun, symbols used by their former ruler, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
FIFA has a rule against “promoting any political, offensive and/or discriminatory messages.”
Some fans wearing shirts with slogans related to the protests have been asked to change before entering the stadiums.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle