United States could be KICKED OUT of World Cup 2022, for disrespecting Iran

United States fans show their support prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between USA and Wales at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar
(Image credit: Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Iran's football federation have appealed for the United States of America to be expelled from World Cup 2022. 

The US removed the Islamic Republic emblem was removed from Iran's flag on social media graphics, ahead of the pair's clash on Tuesday, claiming they didn't want to use the official flag to show "support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights", amid mass anti-government protests in the country.

The protests in Iran were sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained by morality police for allegedly breaking strict rules around head coverings, in September.

Iran fans in Qatar

Iran fans in Qatar during the tournament (Image credit: Future)

"In an unprofessional act, the Instagram page of the US football federation removed the Allah symbol from the Iranian flag," Iran's state-affiliated Tasnim News Agency claimed. "The Iran Football Federation sent an email to FIFA to demand it issue a serious warning to the US federation."

According to FIFA rules, however, the US could face expulsion from the World Cup as a result of the action. 

According to section 13 of FIFA rules, any person who offends the dignity or integrity of a country, a person or group of people could be sanctioned with a suspension lasting at least ten matches or a specific period, or any other appropriate disciplinary measure. This would mean that Iran could be given a bye into the last-16 of the competition – however unlikely that may be.

"We can't speak for them and their message. We know that they're all emotional," US defender Walker Zimmerman said. "They're all going through things right now, they're human. Again, we empathise with that human emotion and completely feel for them."

Iran's game against the United States is essentially a play-off for a place in the next round, unless Wales can pull off a 4-0 win against England

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.