Ban on slogans at Iran, US game
World Cup organisers are stepping up security to prevent protesters disrupting tomorrow's politically charged game between Iran and the United States.
Pierre Guinot-Delery, who is responsible for security and defence at Lyons' Stade de Gerland, said yesterday that flags bearing any writing or slogan would be confiscated from fans.
FIFA and the French organising committee of the World Cup are worried that exiled Iranian groups will try to use the game to draw attention to their cause.
Earlier this week, FIFA president-elect Sepp Blatter revealed that unidentified Iranian opposition groups had warned him there would be trouble at the game.
Mr Guinot-Delery said the clampdown on flags was to prevent any group using the match for political purposes.
'We shall employ similar security used in the two previous matches at the ground. However, we have to be particularly careful about any attempt to exploit this event either politically or ideologically,' Mr Guinot-Delery said.
'With this in mind, any banner or notice bearing inscriptions of any nature will be forbidden and will be confiscated before entering the stadium. Individual body searches will be conducted more meticulously in order to detect any attempts to introduce such objects,' he said.
France's controversial far-right leaders, Jean-Marie Le Pen and Bruno Gollnisch, said yesterday they had received official invitations from Iran to attend the game against the US. But an Iranian Embassy official denied the claim.