World Cup: US Knocks Iran Out in Game Overshadowed By Political Tensions

    Photo: The Washington Post

    The Facts

    • The US Men's National Soccer Team qualified for the FIFA 2022 World Cup round of 16 to face the Netherlands on Saturday after beating Iran by 1-0 on Tuesday.

    • Ahead of Tuesday's game, US coach Gregg Berhalter and team captain Tyler Adams were questioned by Iranian journalists about government relations and discrimination in the US. They declined to apologize for social media posts and mispronouncing Iran's name during a press conference.

    The Spin

    Anti-Iran narrative

    As is often the case on the sporting world stage, this game is about more than just soccer. Not only has the US been vocal about its opposition to the current crackdown and human rights violations in Iran, but even the Iranian people have been split about supporting this national team. No matter who wins, the world is against the Iranian regime.

    Pro-Iran narrative

    The Iranian government and its governing soccer body are justifiably enraged by the treatment it's received from the US government and its national team. FIFA has clear rules about disrespecting another nation, but Western powers are allowed to get away with such behavior while Iran feels the weight of the world on its shoulders.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 1% chance that the US will win the 2022 FIFA World Cup, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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