Iran Attempts to Disqualify US Team from World Cup

Switzerland vs. Argentina, 29th February 2012

With the US Men’s National Team coming off of a rather impressive result on Friday night in Qatar, a bit of controversy has now struck the World Cup, as a rival both on and off the pitch begins to make some rather unavoidable chatter.

It all began when the US took a stand against the authoritarian Islamic regime in Iran, showing solidarity with protestors who are looking to liberate the national culture from their ultra-conservative overlords.

The U.S. Soccer Federation irked Iran ahead of their pivotal Group B match on Tuesday when it displayed the country’s national flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic, saying the move supported protesters in Iran.

Iran’s government reacted by accusing America of removing the name of God from its national flag.

The US was not hiding from the omission.

U.S. Soccer said in a statement Sunday morning that it decided to forego the official flag on social media accounts to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights.” The Twitter account of the U.S. men’s team displayed a banner for the squad’s matches in the group stage, with the Iranian flag only bearing its green, white and red colors. The same was seen in a post on its Facebook and Instagram accounts.

But by Sunday afternoon, the normal flag with the emblem had been restored in the Twitter banner and on the Facebook and Instagram posts.

“We wanted to show our support for the women in Iran with our graphic for 24 hours,” the federation said.

In a poetic twist to the tension, the US will need to defeat Iran on Tuesday in order to advance to the next round of the tournament.