Iran-Canada friendly in limbo

Iran-Canada friendly

PLDC - Iranian National Football Team’s sporting director Hamid Estili refrained from providing details of upcoming Iran’s camp in Canada, raising doubts about the realization of this trip.

According to an agreement between the federations of Iran and Canada, the two teams are slated to stage a friendly match on June 5 in Vancouver. All the tickets for the 54000-seated BC Place Stadium have been already sold.

Reports also suggested that Team Melli would take on Equador in another friendly encounter but the match has been canceled.

Speaking to reporters, Estili said that no new rival has been selected for the team. “We are negotiating with several teams but we cannot name them at the moment.”

“We were planning to travel to Canada but nothing is certain,” he said.

Asked about reports that suggest the camp in Canada may be called off, the official did not rule that out, saying that no plan is definite for now. He also called on reporters to ask the question from the Iranian federation’s president and secretary-general.

Groups both in Iran and in Canada have called for the cancellation of the friendly match. In Canada, a campaign has been launched mainly by the families of the PS752 tragedy victims, urging Canadian officials to cancel Iran’s camp. And a group of conservatives in Iran also believe that the friendly encounter can be to the detriment of the Iranian government and its face in Canada.

Thousands of Iranian immigrants live in different Canadian cities. According to Canada's 2016 census data, there were more than 210,000 Iranians living in the country and the number is estimated to be higher these days.

Iran are handed Group B of the major football event along with England, the USA, and the winner of the European playoff. Canada are in Group F of the event where they will meet Belgium, Morocco, and Croatia.

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