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30th Nov 2022

USA and Iran players share emotional embrace after full-time

Simon Lloyd

A touching moment

Fulham defender Antonee Robinson was seen consoling an emotional Ramin Rezaeian after Iran were eliminated from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar by the United States on Tuesday night.

Following their win over Wales, a draw would have seen Iran through to the last 16 stage, but a Christian Pulisic strike late in the first half proved to be enough for the US to qualify as runners-up in Group B behind England.

With Rezaeian in tears at the end of the game, Robinson made his way over to shake his hand. Seeing how upset he was, the 25-year-old embraced him and was seen whispering a few words of support into his ear.

The moment was widely praised on social media, with many noting how the show of sportsmanship was in stark contrast to the political tensions between the two nations.

Iran’s appearance at the World Cup has also come against the backdrop of unrest in their homeland which has generated headlines across the globe.

Protests in Tehran erupted in September when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in custody in the Iranian capital after being detained by morality police for allegedly breaking strict hijab rules.

Similar protests broke out in other towns and cities across the country, prompting a violent crackdown from authorities which, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency, has resulted in the deaths of 341 protestors since September 17.

Iran’s players abstained from singing their national anthem prior to their tournament opener against England.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, an Iranian journalist also pitched a difficult question at Leeds midfielder, Tyler Adams, after he mispronounced Iran during a press conference.

Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz also raised tensions before the game by addressing criticism of the Iranian regime by drawing parallels with American school shootings.

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