The United States Soccer Federation temporarily displayed Iran’s national flag on social media without the emblem of the Islamic Republic as a show of solidarity with protesters in Iran ahead of the two teams’ World Cup clash on Tuesday.
A now-deleted graphic of the Group B standings posted on Saturday across US Soccer’s official Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts displayed the Iranian flag only bearing its green, white and red colors.
Iran has been gripped by protests since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini’s death in September while in police custody after she was arrested for flouting the country’s strict Islamic dress code.
The intent of the posts was to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights,” US Soccer media officer Michael Kammarman told a news conference on Sunday. Players were not consulted on the decision to alter the flag.