U.S. Soccer Federation temporarily removes Islamic emblem from Iran flag in support of protesters
The U.S. plays Iran on Tuesday in the World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar.
The United States Soccer Federation briefly posted a photo online of Iran's flag without the Islamic Republic emblem in support of human rights protests in Iran, ahead of a World Cup match Tuesday in Qatar between the two countries.
The federation said move was to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights.”
Tehran officials said in response to the move that the U.S. removed the name of God from its flag, The Associated Press reported.
The emblem was restored to the U.S. team's Twitter banner by Sunday afternoon.
Team spokesman Neil Buethe declined to say whether the emblem change had been approved by federation President Cindy Parlow Cone.
"This was a decision within the federation," he said. "I’m not going to get into who knew and who didn’t."