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Gregg Berhalter expresses regret over US Soccer’s Iranian posts during tense situation

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News Sports: Iranian media criticized the US men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter and midfielder Tyler Adams in a highly political and often pointless press conference ahead of the crucial World Cup match between the two nations.

He repeatedly said that he and the players “didn’t know what American football was releasing”, which the federation deemed was a statement in support of Iran’s women’s rights movement, and she later withdrew. back amid the backlash. At one point, Berhalter said: “All we can do, on our behalf, is apologize to the players and staff.”

Berhalter appeared to be growing frustrated at the National Convention Center of Qatar as questions about US-Iran relations and American football changing the Iranian flag on social media charts piled up.

But no matter what he said; and no matter how many times he dodged questions about politics, saying at one point ‘I’m a football coach’, the questions kept coming.

They accused Berhalter and US Soccer of “unprofessionalism” by closing practice 15 minutes after Sunday night – as US Soccer always does and as most teams still follow FIFA rules. They confusedly said there was “no support from your team” in the US amid “strong inflation and economic problems”, Berhalter replied that 19 million people watched the match between the US and you. As he finished his answer, USMNT press secretary Michael Kammarman added, “the number is 20 million,” causing the room to burst into laughter.

They asked Adams an implicit question about futurism, namely whether he felt comfortable representing a country that discriminated against “black people within his own borders”. are not. Adams handles this and all other problems with remarkable poise. When a reporter corrected the Iranian pronunciation – “first of all, you said you support the Iranian people, but you mispronounced the name of our country. Our country is called ee-RAHN, not I-RAN. Please clarify this once and for all” – he replied: “I apologize for mispronouncing your language. ”

To the last question of the press conference, an Iranian journalist asked a question posed a few minutes ago about the match between the United States and Iran at the 1998 World Cup. Berhalter, somewhat exasperated, replied: ” Well, like I said two questions ago, I miss the game, I commented on the game” and so on. Adams, born in 1999, said: “Yes…I wasn’t born yet, so – I don’t remember.” He was smiling. In one of the many questions about American football’s removal of the Islamic Republic and takbir symbols from the Iranian flag, a journalist explained that “if you remove the holiest word of Allah from the country, it is an insult”. was then asked if US Soccer’s statement was detrimental to Tuesday’s game or if it was “motivational”.

Berhalter said: “I can only reiterate that the players and staff are ignorant of what is shown. “Sometimes things are out of our control.” Berhalter went on to say that the outcome will depend on what happens on the pitch, not on it. Queiroz accepts.

“If after 42 years in this game, I still believe that I can win the game with these mental games, then I think I haven’t learned anything about this game,” says Queiroz.

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