The Canadian football date with Iran was a mistake from the start

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When the Canadian men’s football team eventually evolved into a World Cup group, one of the fun aspects was how traditional it was to underestimate it. All those years of pratfalls, stumbling, 8-1 loss to Honduras, are gone. Canadian football is finally on the big gaming table in the world. Slapstick football is a thing of the past.

But since everyone quotes Faulkner today, the past never dies; it’s not even over. On Thursday, Canadian Football canceled its World Cup prep match against Iran, scheduled for June 5 in Vancouver. Head coach John Herdman went on to say that every minute together is important, and this is a chance to play the 25 toughest teams before some CONCACAF bustle.

The problem is that Canadian Football was booked by Iran, which was responsible for the deaths of 85 Canadians or permanent residents just two years ago on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. Then there’s the blowback, until it includes the victim’s family and the prime minister, and next time you know Canadian Football is back in the business of humiliation.

Indeed, this is an amazing leg movement. If you’re just in the immoral world of international football, where he followed the Russian World Cup with one in Qatar, then you can convince yourself that this is how it works. Iran is tough and experienced, not expensive, and willing to fly all the way to Vancouver to play on artificial turf in a match that could make Canada Soccer a pile of money. Monkey business, football.

Now, you can argue about relative moralism in any game. The last Olympics were held in Beijing. Saudi Arabia is in the World Cup. Iran will play in the United States, and there is nothing less brutal to its name. Every country has sin, past and present.

But Iran was responsible for killing Canadians just two years ago, and a mature federation will know that this world remains bigger than the game in this world. Canadian Football can contact the families of the victims to ask if there is a way to do this properly: a ceremony to commemorate the victims on the field, a quiet moment, donations to their families. It might check to see if this is a politically viable idea.

However, Canadian football is forward and pushback is stacked, from Conservatives and Liberals alike. The prime minister said it was not a good idea and Canada Soccer had to explain itself, which Canada Soccer kept rejecting. It turned out that the families of the victims planned a protest on the day of the game, in the stadium. The players reportedly discussed among themselves whether they wanted to play in the match. Sponsors may be a little nervous. The federal government planned to scrutinize visas closely – the idea that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps could accompany the Iranian team was not accepted, as the Revolutionary Guards shot down 752 planes outside Tehran – but were not withdrawn. One federal source said that this was a Canadian Football decision.

Canadian Soccer comes as naive in a big city, or a stranger in their own country. As noted by the CBC, Iranian team director Hamid Estili told state -related media outlets that not only has the squad never made a profit in an international friendly match in the past 22 years, and not only will it make a profit. $ 400,000 Canada has paid to appear, but says Iran has negotiated with over 20 other lower -ranking countries about potential allies, and everyone insists Iran must pay to play. Until, Canada.

Other state officials told Iranian media that the team assured the government that Canada was responsible for all consequences if the deal failed, and Iran’s deputy minister of culture and public sports tweeted that “under the contract” Iran would seek $ 10 million in damages. Maybe this is an introductory offer. But the language of the contract seems important to Canadian Football today.

It was, all in all, embarrassing. The June window was one of two before Qatar in November, and now there is some training, a Curaçao match and a trip to Honduras, all with Alphonso Davies returning after a case of post-COVID myocarditis. Canada will play a number of matches in Europe in the fall, and preparations for the World Cup will continue. This, as everyone continues to show, is Canada’s first chance on the biggest stage since 1986.

After qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1986, the Canadian men’s football team now has less than one match to prepare.

And in the background, a nagging feeling.

You might be thinking about the early reports linking Herdman to some lower level England team, and whether he would have enough juice to jump in and leave all this behind; you might wonder what Herdman means to the program, and what talent populating the national team is matched by the Canadian stewardess acumen of the game. Maybe it is. But given the moment when the country stopped thinking of men’s football as an embarrassing mess, Canadian Football is back, with dexterity and dexterity.