US Soccer ‘did not coordinate with team players, coach Greg Berhalter, or federal government before tweeting photo of Iranian flag without Islamic Republic emblem’
- US Soccer social media accounts posted morphed images of Iran’s flag
- Photos show a flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic
- The posts were meant to show solidarity with the women in Iran, but caused massive diplomatic tensions. Iran is asking the US to be punished by FIFA
- And a new report says players, coaches had no say in the matter
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A new report says US Soccer did not consult with players, coaches or the federal government before displaying Iran’s flag on official social media accounts without the Islamic Republic’s emblem.
Before the United States’ Tuesday clash with Iran, the team posted an altered version of the country’s flag on Instagram and Twitter with the caption ‘Women in Iran for 24 hours with our graphic,’ US Soccer told the AP. Our support for’ was shown.
Yahoo! The game has now become a diplomatic firestorm, with the decision as the Iranian government has called for the USA to pull out of the tournament.
Iran has been in a state of unrest for months after the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained by the country’s morality police, as protesters took to the streets to advocate for women’s rights.
According to human rights activists in Iran, since the start of the protests in Iran, at least 450 people have been killed, with more than 18,000 arrested.
The USMNT’s director of communications, Michael Kammermann, explained the rationale for the now-controversial positions during a Sunday press conference in Qatar.
USA World Cup Twitter account was referencing Iran on social media without the Islamic Republic’s symbol
The US Soccer Federation has said it made the gesture as a symbol of solidarity with the women protesting in Iran
“The intent of the post was to show support for women’s rights,” she said.
‘It had to be a moment. We posted then. All other representations of the flag remain the same and will continue to be so.
The original post was later removed from Instagram and Twitter.
Defender Walker Zimmerman confirmed that the players were unaware of the federation’s decision to make a statement of solidarity, although he clarified the squad’s feelings on women’s rights.
‘We didn’t know anything about the post, but we are supporters of women’s rights. We always have been,’ he said.
‘We’re also very focused on Tuesday from the sporting side, you know. So you mentioned it as a distraction. I think this is such a focused group on the task at hand. But at the same time, we empathize and we strongly believe in and support women’s rights.’
According to sources speaking to Yahoo! Sports, American football consulted ‘Iranian American experts’.
But the report further said, ‘A US State Department spokesperson confirmed in a statement that “there was no coordination on this action”.
The US face Iran needing a win to avoid being knocked out of the tournament.
Walker Zimmerman said the team is a ‘huge supporter’ of women’s rights during the season