‘Us against the world’: Timothy Weah chants ahead of USMNT’s must-win World Cup match against Iran – amid rising political tensions between the two nations
USMNT and Lille winger Timothy Weah has told his teammates on social media that it’s “us against the world” ahead of their must-win game against Iran on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old shared the caption on Instagram on Monday afternoon, alongside a photo of him celebrating his first-half goal against Wales – the only one scored by the Stars and Stripes in Qatar so far.
The U.S. can only advance to the World Cup’s knockout stage with a win on Tuesday. Iran would also advance with a win, and perhaps a draw depending on the result of England’s game against Wales.
Earlier on Monday, at a pregame press conference, USA captain Tyler Adams and coach Gregg Berhalter were asked about a variety of social and political topics that had nothing to do with what happens on the field.
Asked to defend America’s treatment of black people, Adams was chastised for pronouncing his opponent ‘Aye-ran’ instead of ‘E-ran’.
Tim Weah said it’s ‘us against the world’ on Instagram ahead of a must-win clash with Iran
Weah (pictured in practice, left) is the USA’s only goalscorer at the 2022 World Cup so far
The 22-year-old broke the deadlock for the USA against Wales before the match ended 1-1
Berhalter was questioned about US immigration and naval policy, and also apologized for the US Soccer Association’s decision to remove the emblem of the Islamic Republic from Iran’s flag in a post on social media that has since been deleted.
Iran coach Carlos Queiroz was asked about the social media post, which led to Iranian soccer’s governing body demanding FIFA expel the United States from the tournament. He said he had no intention of using the controversy as motivation.
“If after 42 years in this game as a coach I still think I could win games with these mental battles, I think I didn’t learn anything about the game,” Queiroz said.
“We have solidarity with the humanitarian causes all over the world, no matter what they are or who they are. If you talk about human rights, racism, children dying in schools with shootings, we have solidarity with all these causes, but here our mission is to bring smiles to the people for at least 90 minutes, he added.
USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter and captain Tyler Adams unexpectedly had to answer questions about social and political issues from Iranian journalists a day before the game
USA’s World Cup Twitter account angered many Iranians after referring to the country without the Islamic Republic’s emblem on its flag on social media
The U.S. Soccer Association said it omitted the emblem as a sign of solidarity with the women protesting for their rights in Iran
The last time the United States and Iran met was at the 1998 World Cup in France, when memories of the 1979 Islamic Revolution were still fresh for both countries.
The White House, occupied by then-President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeline Albright, used the fight to discuss a possible resumption of diplomatic relations with Iran, which had been severed since the 1979-81 hostage crisis.
A month before the match, the State Department called Iran the world’s ‘most active’ sponsor of terrorism, so nerves were frayed for both nations. And just a week before kick-off, a French television station aired the 1991 film “Not Without My Daughter,” which is based on the true story of an American woman who flees Iran with her daughter against her Iranian husband’s wishes.
The Iranians claimed the broadcast was a targeted insult.
The last time the United States and Iran played competitively in a major international tournament was at the 1998 World Cup in France
Iran won 2-1, but neither team advanced to the knockout round. Pictured: Hamid Estili scores
Iran won 2-1, but neither team progressed to the knockout round. They met one other time – a 1-1 draw in a friendly in 2000.
Tuesday will also mark the last day of play for both groups A and B, and it is the first day with simultaneous kick-offs.
The practice of starting two matches at the same time began in 1986, four years after a match dubbed ‘Gijon’s shame.’
The match was scandalous because West Germany and Austria both knew that a German victory by one or two goals would advance both teams at the expense of Algeria.
The other match that will be played simultaneously during USA-Iran is England vs. Wales.