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Patrick McEnroe to Newsmax: 'Mistake' to Alter Iran Flag During World Cup

By    |   Monday, 28 November 2022 10:54 AM EST

Former tennis pro Patrick McEnroe on Monday criticized the U.S. soccer federation decision to display Iran's national flag on social media without the emblem of the Islamic Republic, calling it a mistake — and an unnecessary distraction.

In an interview on Newsmax's "Wake Up America," McEnroe lamented the controversial move as more of "what this World Cup has been about."

"The controversies keep coming," he said.

"We're all for people speaking out against the Iranian regime, their own people are doing that as we speak, and so were the Iranian men's soccer team before their opening game. They refused to sing their national anthem," he noted.

McEnroe said the removal of the emblem supporting the Islamic regime was never discussed with the U.S. team or coach.

"What I don't like about it is that the U.S. men's soccer team, the social media aspect of it, they decided on their own to take away the emblem that's in the middle of the flag. So to me, that was a mistake to do that," he said.

"I know they consulted with some Iranian experts within this country, but they didn't talk to the coach. They didn't talk to the players. They didn't talk to the U.S. government about doing this. So this set off a firestorm among the people and some of the media in Iran."

According to McEnroe, supporting the people of Iran should be the focus.

"Imagine if someone did something to the U.S. flag before a big game, taking away the stars and the stripes," he said. "We wouldn't like that. I don't think this was the right moment … the right place to do it."

The move also put more pressure on the U.S. men's soccer team ahead of its match against Iran soccer team, he added.

"To me this is one of the biggest games they are ever going to play," he said. "We're a team that's improved. We played very well against England, arguably we out-played one of the tournament favorites."

"It's put up or shut up time," he declared.

Yet McEnroe said the U.S. team has to be realistic about its chances.

"We're really controlling the ball well and controlling the tempo of the game. But we need that someone that can finish it," he said, naming Christian Pulisic as "the most talented player that we have."

"Talk is cheap," he said.

"We weren't in the World Cup four years ago. … We're not one of the favorites. But [the U.S. team is] one of the teams that could make that move, maybe get to the quarterfinals, semifinals. We have to win this game against Iran."

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Fran Beyer

Fran Beyer is a writer with Newsmax and covers national politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Former tennis pro Patrick McEnroe on Monday criticized the U.S. soccer federation decision to display Iran's national flag on social media without the emblem of the Islamic Republic, calling it a mistake - and an unnecessary distraction.
world cup, iran, national flag
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2022-54-28
Monday, 28 November 2022 10:54 AM
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