AL-RAYAN, Qatar — USA coach Greg Berhalter said he and his players do not share the NFL’s social media posts that removed the central image of Iran’s flag, apologized for them and insisted his team’s focus was on the crucial Group B match.
Eventually the Soviet Union removed the offending posts, but not before Iran lodged a complaint with FIFA’s ethics committee. Berhalter added that his thoughts are with the Iranian people, many of whom have been involved in protests over the treatment of women following the death of 22-year-old Mohsa Amini, who was being held by the country’s morality police.
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“The players and the coaching staff know nothing about what has been published,” Berhalter said. “Sometimes things are beyond our control. We think it will be a game and the result will depend on who puts in more effort, who performs better on the field. And we don’t focus on external things. All we can do on our behalf is apologize on behalf of the players and staff, But this is not something we are a part of.
“We had no idea what American football had to offer – the staff and the players had no idea. And for us, our focus is on this game. I don’t want to sound aloof or disinterested in saying that, but the guys who have worked so hard over the last four years, We have 72 hours between England and Iran, and we’re really just focused on how to get past Iran and [how] We can go to the knockout stage of the tournament.
“Of course, our thoughts are with the Iranian people… the whole country, the whole team, everyone, but our focus is on this match.”
The press conference had some unexpected twists and turns with Berhalter and the captain Tyler Adams He was asked about discrimination in the US, whether former US manager Jurgen Klinsmann was engaging in “psychological warfare” against Iran with his comments about the nation’s culture, the negative effects of inflation in the US, whether the nation was behind the team, and whether they were aware that state citizens were allowed to United States to travel to Iran, but not vice versa.
An Iranian reporter also criticized Adams for mispronouncing the word “Iran”. Adams apologized before he and Berhalter took high ground on other subjects.
“Sport is something that should bring people together, bring countries together,” Berhalter said. “When you look at the Olympics, you see all those countries competing at the same time, it’s an amazing event. The World Cup is very similar, people come from all over the world. Fans come from all over the world, and you get to compete on the field, as brothers, So sport has the potential to do that.”
Asked about discrimination in the United States, Adams said it is everywhere.
“It’s a process,” Adams said of fighting discrimination. “I think as long as you see progress, that’s the most important thing.”
As for the game itself, the United States faces a must-win situation while Iran could advance with a draw.
“Make no mistake about it, this is a knockout match for both teams, so it will be on a high level,” Berhalter said. “I like what Iran have done so far, especially the last game. Lots of commitment, really good counter-attacking and we expect it to be a very competitive game.”
Berhalter was also asked about allegations by former US international and SiriusXM broadcaster Eric Wynalda that the US manager lied to the media about Giovanni ReynaHis condition after not participating against Wales and asked Reina to lie too.
“I’ll leave it to him [the media] “To decide if I asked Geo to lie about it,” Berhalter said, “It’s not just me. It’s not what I stand for. If you have to take Eric’s word or my word or whatever, feel free, but I know what happened. That Not what I stand for. And like everyone else, Gio is a member of this team that we care deeply about, and we know he can help the team. It’s a matter of when he can help us and how he can help us.”
Berhalter was also asked about the performance of his pivotal strikers, and whether Reina could be a substitute. Berhalter said so Josh Sargent And the Haji Wright They “did a decent job for us” and said it was up to their teammates to serve them better.
He added, “I think in terms of the substitutes in the striker position, we’re comfortable with the three we have. We haven’t necessarily thought about putting Geo there or Christian [Pulisic] there or Timmy Weah there or Jordan Morris there. We’ve focused more on the three we have in camp.”
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