Fans prepare for politically charged US-Iran match at World Cup

Fans prepare for politically charged US-Iran match at World Cup

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Diplomatic foes the United States and Iran face off on the pitch in a match at the World Cup on Tuesday, prompting some Iranians to fear more run-ins with stadium security or the government over fierce protests at home There could be clashes with supporting fans.

The tie between the two countries, which severed ties 40 years ago, will be held under heightened security to prevent tensions amid unrest in Iran since the custodial death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16. ,

According to state media, in a show of solidarity before the match, the American Football Federation temporarily displayed Iran’s national flag without the Islamic Republic’s emblem, leading Tehran to complain to FIFA.

Qatar, which has strong ties to Washington and friendly relations with Tehran, has built its reputation on delivering a smooth World Cup, increasing security at Iran’s games and banning certain items deemed inflammatory, such as Iran’s pre-revolution flag. Have put at stake.

When Iran beat Wales on Friday, security teams were deployed to “break up a small number of brawls” among Iranian fans outside the stadium, a Qatari official said, adding that the incidents were “expediated” to prevent tensions. From” dealt with.

“I will not participate in the game on Tuesday because I do not feel safe in Qatar,” said Iranian-Canadian Azzi, who declined to give his last name and who wore a T-shirt proclaiming ‘Women, Life, Freedom’. Had kept – a slogan of the protests in Iran.

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