Instead of including the Islamic emblem representing “Allah” as the four curves with the sword symbolically means “there is no god but God.” The federation had created a graphic to represent the Group B standings in the FIFA World Cup, of which Iran is second, and the U.S. is third. Eventually, all the posts with the graphic were deleted from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
The federation claimed in a statement to CNN that it displayed an altered flag to demonstrate “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights,” and planned to only keep the posts up for 24 hours. Subsequent posts will include the true 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 [FIFA] charter, for which a 10-game suspension is the appropriate penalty,” Iran’s state-sponsored media Tasnim News tweeted Sunday. “Team USA should be kicked out of the World Cup.”
“The USA Soccer Twitter account posted a graphic of the standings in its group. When displaying the Iran flag, they posted a flag without the emblem in the middle. The emblem is ‘Allah,'” comedian Amer Zahr explained. “The ‘West’ has always said to keep politics out of sports… Except when it’s supporting Ukraine or attacking Iran, I guess. No class.”
FIFA has not made a public statement regarding the graphic. It does claim sole authority to “determine the exact ceremonial elements to be put in place at each preliminary competition match. FIFA and the confederations shall issue the participating member associations with guidelines for the implementation of these elements,” according to its regulations.
Iran is slatted to face off against the U.S. Tuesday and should they win, would eliminate the U.S. from the tournament.