One last reminder: how to watch the United States play Iran in the World Cup
The USA’s mission at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar is simple: Win and advance to the final 16. A loss or tie will send the Americans home.
The Americans go into this final Group B match with draws against England and Wales.
Iran have lost to England but beat Wales, putting Team Melli in second place goes in this crucial match.
Iranian lawmakers hope for victory and national holiday
Members of the Iranian parliament have asked President Ebrahim Raisi to declare Wednesday a national holiday in case the Melli team advances to the World Cup qualifiers with a win over the United States, the aligned government said. The Tasnim news agency reported.
Such a nationwide celebration would be a welcome relief for government officials, who want to divert attention from the ongoing human rights protests across the republic.
A iranian victory over the United States guarantees qualification for the round of 16. An Iran-USA draw could also go to Team Melli, depending on the results of the England vs. Wales matchthat will play simultaneously.
The White House endorses Team USA.
Netherlands and Senegal advance to the round of 16
by Kalidou Koulibaly goal in minute 70 gave Senegal a dramatic 2-1 victory over Ecuador to advance out of Group A.
Ecuador only needed a draw to advance and seemed to have that point in hand when Moisés Caicedo scored the equalizer just three minutes before Koulibaly’s tiebreaker.
Netherlands beat host Qatar, 2-0and won Group A with two wins and one draw.
The champions from Pool A will play the runner-up from Pool B at 10 am EST on Saturday in the Round of 16. Senegal will face the top seed from Group B at 2 pm on Sunday.
The United States is playing ‘ee-RON’ and not ‘eye-RAN’
An Iranian journalist called American player Tyler Adams for mispronouncing the name of America’s Next Soccer Opponent and questioned how he could play for Team USA in the context of America’s racial divide.
“My apologies for the mispronunciation of your country,” Adams told reporters on Monday after saying his side was playing “eye-RAN” instead of the preferred pronunciation of “ee-RON.”
Adams, whose father is black, acknowledged his home country’s ongoing racial reckoning, but concluded: “I think as long as I see progress, that’s the most important thing.”
Qatari official estimates World Cup worker deaths ‘between 400 and 500’
DOHA, Qatar — A senior Qatari official involved in hosting the country’s World Cup put the number of worker deaths for the tournament “between 400 and 500,” a number drastically higher than any previously offered by Doha.
The comment by Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Surrender and Legacy, seemed to come out of nowhere during an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan, parts of which Morgan posted online.
He also threatened to reinvigorate criticism of human rights groups on the cost of hosting the first Middle East World Cup for migrant labor which built more than $200 billion worth of stadiums, subway lines and new infrastructure needed for the tournament.
In the interview, the British journalist asks al-Thawadi: “What is the honest and realistic total you think of the migrant workers who died as a result of the work they were doing for the World Cup as a whole?”
“The estimate is around 400, between 400 and 500,” al-Thawadi replies. I don’t have the exact number. That’s something that’s been discussed.”
But that figure has not been publicly discussed by Qatari officials before. The Supreme Committee reports dating from 2014 to the end of 2021 only include the number of deaths of workers involved in the construction and refurbishment of the stadiums that are now hosting the World Cup.
Those published figures put the total number of deaths at 40. They include 37 of what Qataris describe as non-work incidents, such as heart attacks, and three from workplace incidents.
In a later statement, the Supreme Committee said al-Thawadi was referring to “national statistics covering the period 2014-2020 for all work-related deaths (414) across the country in Qatar, covering all sectors and nationalities”.
Blinken takes a neutral stance in World Cup match
Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted that there are no “geopolitical aspects” to the big soccer match between the United States and Iran that are likely to determine the fate of each team in the World Cup.
“Let the game speak for itself,” he said.
America’s top diplomat even played for half when naming the sport the two teams will play later today in Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.
“When it comes to football or football as it’s sometimes more correctly known, come on, let the athletes do their thing,” he said. “I am looking forward to a very competitive match between the United States and Iran.”
The United States must win to advance to the round of 16.
The US men’s team trains in Doha ahead of the game against Iran
Protests have involved previous matches of this World Cup
Iranian footballers appeared to have some sympathy for the protesters, as the team remained silent as the national anthem was played before their World Cup opener against England last week.
The players were criticized by Iranian officials at home for their apparent silent protest and returned to singing the hymn ahead of their next game against Wales, even as fans inside the stadium booed and whistled.
Then, over the weekend, the US Soccer Federation briefly displayed the flag of Iran on social media without the emblem of the Islamic Republic in support of the protesters.
“We wanted to show our support for women in Iran with our graphic for 24 hours,” according to a US Soccer statement.
That statement angered Iranian government and soccer officials who demanded that americans be thrown out of the tournament.
Second meeting between Iran and the US
tuesday party marks just the second contest between the two sides in World Cup history. That earlier game ended with a 2-1 Team Melli victory in France in 1998, also preventing the Americans from playing the tie.
That 1998 game was played 17 years after Iran released 52 American hostages after 444 days in captivity. The emotional scars of that crisis were still fresh in the minds of many Americans when the two sides met in Lyon.
Tuesday’s game is also being played in the shadow of the massive geopolitical events that have been unfolding thousands of miles away from the pitch in Al Khor.
weeks of anti-government protests across Iran, led by women and students, have stunted public enthusiasm for the national soccer team.
Team Melli’s 1998 win over the United States sparked instant joy in Iran as fans. took to the streets for the celebrations.