#NoBan4Women banner grabs eyeballs in Iran’s win

Doug Mendoza
June 18, 2018

However, five minutes into stoppage time, Aziz Bouhaddouz nodded into his own net an effort that was Iran's first, and only, at goal in the second half.

The world soccer governing body on June 16 said rules generally bar political statements at matches, but it said the banner displayed during Iran's 1-0 win over Morocco on June 15 was considered a "social appeal".

"I can only apologise to the team, the fans and the 35 million people in Morocco".

"We are here to compete with the favourites and we hope the gods of football speak higher and they make decisions".

After an open first half when both teams created chances, the action became nearly as boring as the droning noise from the air horns that swarmed the St. Petersburg Stadium.

FOX Sports Asia was pitch-side before the game to experience the "Vivo Super Fan" programme, which enables fans similar access throughout the entirety of the World Cup and allows them to get up close with the game's biggest names. He was consoled by teammates, while Iran celebrated. "We expect that Federation Internationale de Football Association will come with a position and if they don't we will publish the letter we sent to Federation Internationale de Football Association".

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Then came the error from Bouhaddouz, the drama and the agony as Iran grabbed just their second win in their World Cup history.

By midnight, pounding music and fireworks could be heard across the city and the whooping showed no sign of letting up.

The players were also the latest victim of United States sanctions, with Nike refusing to provide the team with soccer shoes, saying it would breach the USA trade embargo on Iran. The slogan on the billboard read "Together we are champions: one nation, one heartbeat".

"It was not a miracle that we won", Queiroz said.

Iran had an unbeaten run through the qualifiers, but faces one of the toughest groups in the competition, against Morocco, Spain and Portugal.

Other reports by GizPress

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