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U.S. soccer edits Iranian flag on social media in support of protesters

An Iranian walks next to a wall painting of Iran's national flag at a street in Tehran, Iran. File Photo by Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA-EFE
An Iranian walks next to a wall painting of Iran's national flag at a street in Tehran, Iran. File Photo by Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA-EFE

Nov. 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. soccer team posted a graphic for its upcoming match against Iran with the emblem of the Islamic Republic removed in a show of support for protestors.

The graphic was included temporarily on the Twitter header of the men's national team. It included flags of the team's upcoming opponents, but the Iranian flag was altered. The graphic was later changed to include the emblem of the Islamic Republic. U.S. Soccer has since updated the graphic to include the emblem.

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"We wanted to show our support for the women in Iran with our graphic for 24 hours," the U.S. Soccer Federation said, reported by Yahoo.

Iran responded to the display, saying by removing the emblem, the team was removing the name of God from the flag.

Iran is in the midst of long-standing anti-government protests which have shifted specifically toward the government's oppression of women. On Sept. 16, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, was killed in police custody in Tehran, sparking a mass protest.

The Tasnim News Agency, a news organization affiliated with Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps., reports the Iranian Federal Football Agency will file a complaint against U.S. Soccer to Fifa's Ethics Committee. The policy it is citing states "any person who offends the dignity or integrity of a country, a person or group of people -- shall be sanctioned with a suspension lasting at least ten matches or a specific period."

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The U.S. soccer team will play Iran in the group stage on Tuesday. Iran is in second place in the group with one win, one loss and 3 points. The United States is third after two draws. England leads the group with a win, loss and 4 points.

World Cup 2022: England vs. Iran

Raheem Sterling (C) of England is mobbed by teammates after he scoried his third goal during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Group B match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on November 21, 2022. England beat Iran 6-2. Photo by Chris Brunskill/UPI | License Photo

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