Canadian Football announced Thursday that it has canceled a planned exhibition game in Vancouver between the Canadian and Iranian Men’s National Teams after receiving public pushback.
The game, scheduled for June 5, will be in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. However, critics called the event, citing the Iranian government’s responsibility for the shooting down of the PS752 aircraft in 2020, which killed all 176 crew and passengers, including 85 Canadians and permanent residents.
Associations representing the families of the victims called the match an insult to those who did not know justice for the downed flight. Spokesman Hamed Esmaeilion said the cancellation of the game was the right decision.
“We are happy. This is the right thing to do, ”he said.
Earlier this week, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh accused the Canadian government of the politics of the game. Khatibzadeh also threatened that Iran would hold Canada Soccer accountable for violating its contract with the national team.
The report said Canada Soccer – which raised more than $ 3 million in funding this year – paid the Iranian national team $ 400,000 to hold the game. However, the federal government says there is no public money for the exhibition.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among those who fired Canada Soccer for planning the game.
“This is an option from Soccer Canada. I feel it’s not good to invite an Iranian football team here to Canada. But that’s what the committee has to clarify,” Trudeau said.
Before canceling the match, Trudeau also said it would depend on the Canadian Border Services Agency whether the Iranian team would be allowed to enter the country to play.
“I have expressed my concern that I think this game is a bad idea. I can assure you that Sport Canada has not yet provided funding for this game,” Trudeau said. “And as far as the ability of the players to come to Canada and the team to come to Canada, the border …
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