Marco Werman: I'm Marco Werman. This is "The World". Celebrities you know often get trolled on social media. It kinda goes with the territory. But Brazilian supermodel Fernanda Lima got more than her share after she hosted last week's draw for the World Cup soccer tournament next year. Lima played a kinda Vanna White type role, assisting in pulling the names of countries out of a bowl and sorting them into groups. Not very controversial unless you live in Iran. It's getting a bit complex now this story, so let's turn to The World's one-man soccer desk, William Troop. What's Iran got to do with all of this, William?
William Troop: Iran is one of the 32 countries that qualified for next year's World Cup, so they were part of this draw and naturally, like soccer fans all over the world, fans in Iran were watching live on TV.
Werman: Right. And what were they upset by as they watched the draw with Fernanda Lima up there on stage?
Troop: Well, in case you weren't watching, Fernanda Lima, who was hosting the event as you say, was wearing a tight gold dress with a plunging neckline. This was pretty popular with some viewers around the world. There were thousands of positive comments about her dress on Twitter, but in Iran it was a completely different story because Iranian television does not allow women that are deemed to be dressed immodestly to be shown on television. So every time that the TV cameras during the draw focused on Fernanda Lima, on Iranian TV the image was dropped. This made for terrible TV viewing for soccer fans in Iran who were waiting to find out who Iran was going to playing because the show kept getting interrupted.
Werman: So are Iranians upset with Fernanda Lima? Are they upset with FIFA for not informing Iranian TV that this was gonna be happening?
Troop: Well, the hundreds of abusive messages that ended up on Fernanda Lima's Facebook page would suggest that they were upset at her, ranging from just very insulting comments to suggestions that she should have worn a hijab so that everybody could watch this around the globe.
Werman: So I'm just curious, psychologically, with this moment, does this put Iran in an odd position when they get to Brazil next year to play their games?
Troop: No, because after the abuse got so bad that Fernanda Lima had to take down her Facebook page, fans from Iran started pouring out online apologizing for their fellow citizens, saying Iranians are not that way. And that led to even more outpouring from Brazilians online saying, "We understand. Don't worry. Iranians will be welcome in Brazil."
Werman: And Fernanda Lima wasn't the only one who got some of that abuse online.
Troop: Oh yeah. There was the other part of it. In the draw, Iran was put in the same group as Argentina and that led to the same sort of trolling for Leo Messi, the best player in Argentina's team, and, again, hundreds of Iranian fan wrote on Messi's Facebook page to apologize. And on top of that, there was even a special Facebook page created by Iranians apologizing to both Messi and Fernanda Lima. The page, by the way, I looked at it today and there's more than forty thousand likes now.
Werman: Oh my gosh. All right people, don't spend all the trash talk at once. Save some of it at next summer's games at the World Cup in Brazil. The World's soccer desk, William Troop. Thank you.
Troop: You're welcome.
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