President Hassan Rouhani slipped out of his traditional tunic and turban and into the comfort of his nation’s football jersey, to support the Iranian football team playing against Morocco in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Rouhani could not contain his excitement when Iran's national team secured their first victory in a World Cup match in 20 years. An unfortunate own-goal by Aziz Bouhaddouz in the 95th minute translated into an unexpected triumph for Iran, which beat Morocco 1-0 in the Group B match, played in St. Petersburg.
Congratulating the national team on their win, Rouhani tweeted a picture of himself clapping, wearing pants and the national football jersey.
Iran’s victory even impressed the US State Department, which commended the Islamic Republic’s “passionate” performance on the pitch in Russia. “We hope that Iranian women inside Iran can also watch live matches in stadiums,” the state department could not resist taunting, in Farsi.
پیروزی #تیم_ملی_ایران را در مقابل مراکش به #ملت_ایران تبریک می گوییم. با دیدن #زنان پرشور بیننده #ایرانی در #استادیوم در #روسیه، امیدواریم که روزی #زنان_ایرانی در داخل #ایران هم بتوانند #مسابقات_ورزشی را به طور زنده در استادیومها ببینند. pic.twitter.com/GO6SJiZIgD— USA darFarsi (@USAdarFarsi) June 15, 2018
Meanwhile, the center of Tehran exploded following the nation’s win with loud cheers and fireworks.
So far Iran has won only two games in their modest World Cup history, although their previous one was a 2-1 group stage win over the United States in 1998, an ideological landmark.