Iran’s state-run media is calling for the U.S. to be banned from participating in the World Cup soccer competition over a now-deleted social media post in which the U.S. national team altered an image of the Iranian flag.
The image, deleted from Twitter, included a doctored photo of the Iranian flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic. It represents the religious saying, “There is no god but God.”
The Tasnim News Agency tweeted Sunday, “By posting a distorted image of the flag of the Islamic Republic of #Iran on its official account, the #US football team breached the @FIFAcom charter, for which a 10-game suspension is the appropriate penalty. Team #USA should be kicked out of the #WorldCup2022.”
U.S. Soccer told CNN on Sunday that it wanted to change Iran’s official flag for 24 hours to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights” but that it had always planned to go back to the original flag.
Iran’s government has cracked down on tens of thousands of protesters who’ve taken to the streets since the September 16 death of a 22-year-old Iranian national Mahsa Amini while in police custody. She was arrested for improperly wearing a head covering called a hijab.
The U.S. is set to play Iran on Tuesday at the World Cup in Qatar. CNN reached out to FIFA for comment on Iran’s call to ban the U.S. but did not get a response.