By George Overhill

30th Nov, 2022 | 5:40pm

talkSPORT pundit blasts attempt to belittle Leeds United star Tyler Adams, Jim White and Simon Jordan impressed

An Iranian journalist has been accused of attempting to “belittle” Leeds United midfielder Tyler Adams by talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.

The USMNT captain has received plenty of praise for how he handled the situation ahead of his side’s meeting with Iran at the World Cup on Tuesday night (29 November), which Simon Jordan and Jim White have joined in with, while denouncing the line of questioning.

Adams found himself in the firing line after offence caused by the US Soccer Federation over the political uprising in Iran drew retaliation from the journalist in question over racial discrimination in America, with Jordan citing the incident as why he doesn’t want political issues involved at the World Cup.

Speaking live on talkSPORT on Tuesday morning, via Outspoken with White and Jordan later in the day (29 November, 12min) Jordan said: “I’ve not wanted this kind of dialogue and discourse in a football tournament. It’s been building and the toxicity of it is getting worse.

“It was always going to manifest itself in this kind of situation given the relationship between these two countries. You’re putting people in a very invidious position.”

Jim White wasn’t impressed with the journalist, saying: “To me, the interviewer there, the questions became more important than the actual answer.”

And Alex Crook went further, adding: “I felt for Tyler Adams. I thought that he handled it brilliantly… That journalist is guilty of trivialising a very serious issue.

“I think that journalist was trying to belittle Tyler Adams. It didn’t work because of how he answered that question.”

Ultimately, all three were impressed by the American, as White later said: “It should be underlined, his handling of it was exemplary.”

“Yeah, he’s a smart young man,” Jordan agreed.

Messy

Adams has come out of the situation well by being reasoned and sensible with his answer, and crucially by accepting he might have been wrong by apologising when told off for pronouncing “Iran” incorrectly.

The reason the situation has became an issue in Qatar is because so few do the same, with numerous social and political issues relevant to the tournament and fingers pointing in all directions without the same level of introspection.

It may be simpler for it all to be kept entirely out of the equation when the football is on, as Jordan wants, but then it is very easy to ignore problems if you aren’t suffering the effects.

Some people hate being confronted by these subjects in football while others think it is vital to do so, and ultimately both positions usually end up unsatisfied, but that is the unfortunate reality of an inherently political tournament.

It ultimately didn’t cost Adams, who came out of the press conference with his status as the captain of his country strengthened, his profile boosted, and ultimately with the crucial 1-0 win in the game.

The 23-year-old has entered the spotlight in a big way in Qatar, after a strong start to life at Leeds United won him plaudits in the Premier League.

The way things are going he will be one of the most recognised players in the top flight before long, which unfortunately for the Whites means he will probably be subject to transfer offers sooner or later.

In other Leeds United news, Andrea Radrizzani posted a “very intense” reaction after witnessing what his players were up against at the World Cup.