Too Much Suckling: Roma Team Responds to Iran TV's Logo Meddling

(Bloomberg) -- AS Roma made a peace offering to Iran, starting a Farsi-language Twitter account after a television station set off a storm by blurring part of the Italian soccer team’s iconic logo of a she-wolf suckling twins.

The altering of the image, which is also the city’s ancient symbol, on a sports program drew taunts and criticism from Iranians, who took to Roma’s Twitter account to express their shame and frustration at how the state-controlled television exercises authority over what viewers hear and see.

Roma launched a Persian Twitter account (@ASRoma_Persian) on Tuesday, greeting users with an image of club legend Francesco Totti blowing a kiss and saying: “We are proud as #ASRoma to be the first big European football club to be in touch with our fans in the Farsi language.” The new account gained around 20,000 followers in 24 hours.

Iran’s radio and television monopoly, IRIB, has made headlines before with its peculiar and inventive censorship methods. Once, it inserted a lampshade into an episode of British drama series Injustice to cover the top half of a female character who didn’t meet the country’s dress codes.

The Roma team’s logo depicts the mythical twins Romulus and Remus being suckled by a she wolf, part of the legend of the city’s founding. It has been a symbol since ancient times for a city that will celebrate its 2,770th birthday on April 21.

For Iranian users, the launch of Roma’s Persian account meant they pulled one back against the country’s strict censorship in a memorable evening topped off by Roma’s historic comeback against Barcelona, which sent the club through to UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

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