sport news USA v Iran - the ultimate grudge match after growing tensions between the ... trends now
It is the most politically charged game since the last time these countries met in a World Cup. Twenty-four years on from Iran’s 2-1 victory over the United States against the backdrop of long-standing political tensions, the two teams face off again — and this time even more is at stake.
The result of Tuesday evening’s game will decide who progresses to the knockout stages. The US have to win, while a point is enough for Iran if Wales do not beat England.
The two countries, who came close to open conflict during Donald Trump’s presidency, have had no formal dealings since 1980 but relations are at an all-time low. Tensions have been heightened by the nationwide protests now challenging Tehran’s theocratic government.
Usa and Iran will go head-to-head on Tuesday in what is the most politically charged game
The USA and Iran last met in the 1998 World Cup, with the latter coming out on top 2-1
In what they say was a show of support for women’s rights, the US soccer federation took a stand by displaying Iran’s national flag on social media without the emblem of the Islamic Republic.
Iran’s government responded by accusing America of removing the name of God from their national flag and called on FIFA to kick them out of the World Cup and impose a 10-game ban.
It all made for an uncomfortable press conference for US boss Gregg Berhalter.
‘We had no idea about what US Soccer put out,’ he insisted. ‘The staff, the players had no idea. Our focus is on this match. I don’t want to sound aloof or not caring by saying that but the guys have worked really hard for the last four years, we have 72 hours between England and Iran.
USA boss Gregg Berhalter endured an uncomfortable press conference on Monday
‘We really are just focused on how to get past Iran and go to this knockout stage of the tournament. Of course our thoughts are with the people, the whole country, the whole team, everyone. But our focus is on this match.’
In a press conference that lasted 30 minutes, Berhalter and his captain Tyler Adams were asked about systemic racism in the US, the American fleet in the Persian Gulf, high inflation, and why Iranians need a visa to visit the USA but Americans do not need one for Iran.
‘I don’t know enough about politics, I’m a soccer coach,’ Berhalter said. ‘I’m not well versed in international politics so I can’t comment on that.’
Adams was also on the receiving end of some stern questioning over his pronunciation of Iran.
‘First of all you say you support the Iranian people but you are pronouncing our country’s name