Tue, 06 Jun 2023

The match scheduled for June 5 has already been scrapped

Canada will no longer play against Iran after opposition from Canadian politicians saw the football friendly canceled.

The North American nation has qualified for its first World Cup in 36 years, and planned to take on Iran on June 5 in Vancouver.

Yet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau protested that the game was a "bad idea" while hinting that the Iranians might not be allowed into the country. 

"I can assure you that Sport Canada has not delivered any funding for this game," Trudeau stated.

For many Canadians, a 2020 attack from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is still fresh in the memory.

Killing all 176 passengers and crew members, 85 of whom were Canadians and permanent Canadian residents, the branch of the Iranian armed forces shot down Flight PS752 with families of the victims planning to protest outside the stadium in Vancouver if the match went ahead.

Shortly after the tragedy, the president of Iran at the time, Hassan Rouhani, called it an "unforgivable mistake".

This has proven true as on Wednesday Ralph Goodale, who is Canada's high commissioner to the UK and an ex-special adviser on Flight PS752, said that Canada Soccer's behavior had been "repugnant" while calling into question "both the competence and values of the organization".

"Hosting the Iranian national soccer team as victims of Flight PS752 are still suffering and seeking compensation is reprehensible and will only further serve to legitimize the Iranian regime," added MPs Matt Jeneroux and Richard Martel.

Also qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar later this year themselves, Iran have been placed in Group B alongside the USA, England, and whoever wins a playoff between the winner of Scotland versus Ukraine or Wales.

Over in Group F, Canada will make their first appearance in the FIFA showpiece since 1986 by taking on Belgium, Croatia, and Morocco.

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