Two days before Iran and the United States play what is likely a play-in game for the FIFA World Cup knockout stage, Iran has formally asked FIFA to kick the USA out of the tournament.
Because Iran claims — and this is pretty rich — the United States has offended the nation.
Yes, the country that is in Outsports’ Group of Death and is, according to Equaldex, the sixth most horrible country in the world for LGBT rights, says the USA has offended them so badly they need to be removed from the World Cup.
What was the offense?
U.S. Soccer reportedly shared an image of Iran’s flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic in a show of “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights.”
So Iran murders women who step out of line, the government murders gay men for being gay, and yet a social-media post should disqualify the United States from competition.
The request is pretty rich, given it’s Iran that many people think should be banned from international competitions like the World Cup and the Olympics because the country’s government — to restate this — murders women and gay men.
The players competing for Iran at the World Cup themselves have protested Iran’s human-rights violations, refusing to sing the national anthem before their first match in Qatar. It was a deeply courageous statement, as the men will now face punishment when they return to Iran for this simple gesture on the world stage.
The upcoming Group B matchup between the United States and Iran didn’t need anymore hype and drama, but it just got it. The match will take place Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 2pmET.