Iran: MP cries foul over World Cup-themed beer bottles

  • 13 June 2014
The beer bottle with Iranian flag label

A German beer manufacturer is in hot water with some Iranians over its World Cup-themed beer bottles, it's been reported.

Gaffel Koelsch beer bottles apparently feature labels and tops adorned with the flags of teams competing in Brazil. But some Iranian politicians are not happy, saying the use of Iran's flag is insulting. The flag features the words "God is great", and Iran's Muslim population is forbidden from drinking alcohol.

One MP is directing his unhappiness at FIFA for "allowing" the flag to be "disrespected", Fars news agency reports. "Apparently this is the first time FIFA has allowed such a thing to happen at the World Cup," Hamid Rasaie says. "In another incident, Iran's flag was used in tight leggings and worn by half-naked women." The country's sports minister says the government is "collecting evidence" in order to decide what to do next.

This isn't the first time Mr Rasaie has made headlines over the World Cup. His hopes of going to Brazil as an official observer came to nothing, it seems. A request that the state pay his airfare was leaked, to widespread criticism, Le Monde reports. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says any MPs who want to attend World Cup matches need to "pay their own way".

In 1994 McDonald's caused an outcry after printing the Saudi Arabian flag - which includes a Koran scripture - on its British burger packaging as part of a World Cup promotion.

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