A high-ranking official from the governing body of Iran's association football says the federation is going to file a complaint with the FIFA Ethics Committee after the US men’s soccer team displayed the country's national flag on social media without the emblem of the Islamic Republic, as Washington has been stoking and sponsoring recent riots in the country.
“First of all, I would like to congratulate the honorable Iranian nation on the victory of Team Melli over Wales. I hope the process will continue in the next match, and our team will emerge triumphant over the American side to bring happiness to all Iranians,” Safiullah Faghanpour, the legal adviser to the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI), stated on Sunday.
He added, “Under international conventions, respect for a country’s flag is an unwavering principle and all world states must observe it. Therefore, the measure taken regarding the Iranian flag is against international regulations and ethics, and the FFIRI will definitely raise the issue with the FIFA Ethics Committee and will hold Americans to account for the move.”
“Surely Americans want to impress our squad with such an action on the eve of this important fixture. We should focus on the match for the time being. God willing, the legal team [of Iran’s soccer federation] will lodge a complaint against the US once Team Melli emerges victorious,” Faghanpour pointed out.
The US Soccer Federation said in a statement on Sunday that it decided to remove the emblem of the Islamic Republic from the Iranian flag on its social media accounts to show support for “protests” in the country.
The Twitter account of the US men’s team displayed a banner with the squad’s matches in the group stage, with the Iranian flag only bearing its green, white and red colors. The same could be seen in a post on its Facebook and Instagram accounts laying out the point totals so far in its group.
The US Soccer Federation displayed the official Iranian flag in a graphic showing Group B standings on its website.
The absence of the emblem comes as foreign-backed riots have hit various Iranian provinces since 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini died at the hospital on September 16, three days after she collapsed at a police station. An investigation has attributed Amini’s death to her medical condition, rather than alleged beatings by the police.
The violent riots, meanwhile, have claimed the lives of dozens of people and security forces, while also allowing terrorist attacks across the country. In the last two months, the terrorists have set fire to public property and tortured several Basij members and security forces to death.
On October 26, a Daesh-affiliated terrorist attacked the Shah Cheragh shrine in the southern province of Fars before the evening prayers, killing at least 15 pilgrims — including a woman and two children — and injuring 40 others.
At least seven people were also killed after terrorists opened fire at people and security forces at a crowded market in Khuzestan province’s Izeh around sunset on Wednesday.