Tyler Adams Tackles Hostile Irani Journo With Class And Moxie

The last round of the group stage of the World Cup is upon us already. Teams like France, Brazil and Portugal have already secured progression to the knockout stages, while nations like Qatar and Canada cannot do so anymore.

Many groups remain open, with a lot to play for in the final game. Group B is one of these, with England leading (4 points), followed by Iran (3 points), USA (2 points) and Wales (1 point).

All four can mathematically secure a spot in the next round, although for Wales to qualify would require a major thrashing of their rivals England.

Iran and USA face each other, with the winner likely to go through. A draw would mean Iran would be in a position to go further in the tournament and the USA out of it.

The game is already well positioned to be a cracker, and this is without taking into consideration the wider global context of the match-up.

The political relations between Iran and the United States have been broken since the 1980s. The US often imposes sanctions on the Gulf country, while Iran often blames the States for the dire state they are in right now.

This is not the best place to learn about their diplomatic ties, it is, after all, a football page. You can read more about the relations between the two states here.

A new row erupted on Saturday when the US Soccer social media account posted the Iran flag but without “Allah” written on it.

The Iranian Football Federation lodged a complaint and the next day, the flag was replaced with the correct one.

The justification given to the Americans was that the post was a show of solidarity with the women fighting for human rights in Iran.

Coach Gregg Berhalter did come out and apologise, claiming that the players and the staff were unaware. But that does not make anything better.

For the same reason, the pre-match pressers have been a little tense, with questions being asked about more than just football, but global issues as a whole.

On Monday, an Iranian journalist asked Tyler Adams, the captain of the USMNT, a tough question, and Adams has since been praised for the gracious way he handled it.

The Leeds United player was first called out for mispronouncing the name of the country, calling it “eye-RAN” instead of “EE-RAHN”. He was then questioned about representing a country which is known to discriminate against Black people.

The transcript is as follows:

Tyler is himself a person of colour, who has a Black father and a White mother.

The way the 23-year-old answered the question has drawn widespread applause.

The poise and composure shown are incredible for a person who is only 23 and is under the microscope for the actions of someone not even remotely related to him.

However, with so much happening politically before the last game, Adams will be hoping that his team can show the same calm and composure on the pitch. They will need it if they plan on progressing to the next round.

And as for Tyler Adams, no matter the result of the tournament, he will be welcomed home as a hero.