Iran complains to Fifa after US football body alters its flag

Iran has filed a complaint with the world football body Fifa after the United States football organisation altered the design of its flag in some posts on social media.

The US Soccer Federation posted images on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram ahead of Iran and Qatar’s World Cup 2022 match at Al Thumama in Doha on Tuesday, showing Iran’s flag without its normal emblem in the centre.

An official with the United States Soccer Federation said the flag was altered to express support for Iranian women. Many in the stands at Iran’s match against Wales on Friday came with pre-revolutionary flags and clothing bearing the “Women, Life, Freedom” phrase that has been a key part of the country’s ongoing protests against its government.

Prior to Iran’s match against Wales at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Umm Al Afaei, a huge Iranian flag was placed on the pitch. The US Soccer Federation representative told The Athletic: “The decision we made was to show support for the women in Iran. That stands. “Our decision is final and no one can change it.”

In September, Mahsa Amini, 22, died in police custody after being arrested for wearing her hijab in Tehran ‘improperly,’ sparking widespread anti-government dissent.

According to Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based non-governmental organisation, at least 416 people have been killed by security forces as part of countrywide demonstrations.
At least 15,000 people are said to have been detained, including Iran’s national football player Voria Ghafouri.


Image Credit: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin