When football teams of Iran and United State Of America lockhorns on Tuesday night at Al Thumama stadium, Everyone is looking forward to how the game will impact on the souring relationship between the countries.
Even before the match, on Monday, Iran lodged a complaint to FIFA over the removal of the word “Allah” from the Islamic Republic’s flag on social media posts by the US, which the latter admitted came as a show of support for the protests.
While heated debates about things at stake between the countries carry on in social media, some remained of the good gesture made by Iran team 24 years ago.
The two sides last met during the 1998 World Cup in France where Iranian players handed bouquets of white roses to their opponents and both sides had a group photo taken.
That was the first match played between them after Iran’s 1979 revolution. Iran won the match 2-1.
But the terms are not the same in 2022. USA have a stronger team and Iran is in high spirits after their win against Wales.
While Iran has three points from a win and a lose. USA bagged two points with two consecutive draws.
Iran’s team has been on the spotlight since the first match. The players refused to sing along with the national anthem ahead of the opener against England.
It was reported as a solidarity protest in support of the months long demonstrations happening in the country after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She was arrest by the country’s morality police for allegedly not maintaining the mandatory dress code.
Iranian authorities have not released official statistics on the number of protesters arrested or killed but rights advocates say hundreds have died in the ongoing unrest.
The protest also reached Qatar, with many fans booing during the national anthem and some showing placards. Some spectators were allegedly removed from the stadium for their visible display of protest during Iran’s match against Wales.
The team sang the national anthem in the second match, sparking outrage among some fans.
Iran has been crippling economically after US imposed sanctions against in response to the Iranian nuclear program and Iranian support for Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestine Islamic Jihad, that are considered terrorist organizations by the United States.
Meanwhile, Iran has publicly accuse the US of being the main driving force behind “riots” and “terrorism” in the country, something Washington has denied.
On November 16, US sanctioned six senior members of Iranian state-run media, accusing them of broadcasting forced confessions to undermine the protests in Iran.