The 2022 World Cup: It’s More than Just Soccer

The 2022 World Cup: Its More than Just Soccer

  As the excitement of the World Cup roars, conflict arises between the United States and Iran. On Sunday, November 27, the United States Men’s soccer team made a post on Twitter with Iran’s flag. There was a clear alteration of the flag, as it was missing its Islamic Republic emblem. According to an article about the modification of the Iranian flag by PBS, the emblem “represents the Islamic saying: ‘There is no god but God.’ It also resembles a tulip or lotus.” The symbol is controversial as many women are oppressed in Iran due to the religious beliefs represented in the symbol. 

As the protests in Iran soar due to the death of Mahsa Amini, mortality police continue to use harsh violence towards the people involved in the protest, resulting in the deaths of innocent lives. The United States men’s soccer team wanted to show their support towards the protest, hence leaving the post up for 24 hours. The team wanted to show their opinion on the case, Iran saw it as disrespectful to their country. 

Iran responded abruptly in a tweet made by the Tasnim News Agency, and stated in a CNBC news article, “‘By posting a distorted image of the flag of the Islamic Republic of #Iran on its official account, the #The US football team breached the FIFAcom charter, for which a 10-game suspension is an appropriate penalty. The team should be kicked out of the #WorldCup2022,’ Tasnim News Agency wrote in a post on its official Twitter account.” 

There is no doubt that tensions were high between the two countries as the countdown began for the competitive match between Iran and the U.S. on Tuesday, November 29. Iran felt disrespected by the post, hence a win against the United States team would be significant.  

No other action was taken by the Iranian government other than what was mentioned in a brief social media post about the insult to their country. U.S. defender In a Washington Post article, Walker Zimmerman was quoted saying, “We didn’t know anything about the posts, but we are supporters of women’s rights — we always have been,”. As the players had no involvement, the team was able to advance to the World Cup, playing Iran on the following Tuesday. The United States Men’s soccer team soon advanced in the cup as they beat Iran 1-0. However, after the game, many of the U.S. players were seen consulting the Iranian players in a friendly manner, clearing the air. 

Although the players on the opposing teams maintain a friendly relationship, tensions between the United States and Iran remain. The social and political differences between the two countries are significant. Therefore Iran felt disrespected by the United States team’s actions, as the team was showing their genuine moral support for the fundamental human rights that the Iran population has been fighting for.