Berhalter said he could not say anything about political matters, as he was a football coach.
1998 World Cup: The US team lost to Iran
For the first time in 24 years, the Iranian national team returns to the field against the United States in the World Cup. It was already a tense match in the 1998 tournament in France, and officials in the Islamic Republic still today celebrate the 2-1 victory in Lyon as the greatest success in the history of national football.
Due to the violent repression by Iranian security forces during the protests, many prominent stars moved away from the country. Ali Karimi, a former Bayern Munich professional, has been sending sharp words to the Iranian leadership for weeks.
Former national player Fawria Ghafouri was arrested last week after criticism. There were conflicting reports about his release.
We support the Iranian people and the Iranian team. But we are all focused on the match.
Tomasz Skolski from Doha before the Group B match on Tuesday evening.
November 29, 2022 | 03:34 minutes
Even before the protests broke out, it was clear from the World Cup draw: in matches against political rivals such as England or the USA, the focus is not just on football. For the Iranian Football Federation, it was not about the goals and points, but above all about the performance against the USA, known as the “Great Satan”.
“I've played and trained in different countries. You meet a lot of people and football brings people together. The match will be difficult because they both want to progress and not because it's about politics. We want to fight for progress, that's what it is.” “That,” said US national coach Berhalter.
The match against Iran is like a knockout match: win or go home.
Iran's Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz confirmed: “It is a very, very special match for us.” This applies to him personally as well, as he worked as a coach in the United States of America. It is clear that he was keen to focus on sports before the duel between the two arch political enemies.
The 69-year-old was head coach between 2011 and 2019 and led the country to the 2014 and 2018 World Cup finals, but failed in the preliminary round both times.
Qualified to the round of 16:
The second group: England, the United States of America
Group Three: Argentina, Poland
Group Four: France, Australia
Group Five: Japan, Spain
Group Six: Morocco, Croatia
Group Seven: Brazil
Group H: Portugal
(As of: 01/12/22)
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