Canada Soccer has officially canceled the scheduled friendly vs Iran on June 5th that was supposed to be played at BC Place in Vancouver.
They faced heavy criticism after scheduling the match with Iran from the association of victims from Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 that was shot down in Tehran moments after take-off which resulted in 176 people getting killed in January 2020.
Fifty-five Canadian and 30 permanent residents were among the people who lost their lives when the plane crashed. Prime minister Justin Trudeau was asked about the game last week and was adamant that it was a bad idea and the Association of Families of Flight PS752 called immediately for the match to be canceled.
Canada Soccer released an official statement but didn’t give an actual reason why the game was canceled.
— Elias laradi (@EliasLaradi) May 26, 2022
The spokesperson for the association Hamed Esamaeillon — who lost his wife Parisia and daughter Reera — did an interview last week where he mentioned, “What kind of friendship do we have with the Islamic Republic of Iran?”
Canada Soccer faces backlash over Iran match
Conservative MPs also started to voice their concerns over the last couple of days and the prime minister added that it would be up to the Canada Border Services Agency to decide whether the Iranian soccer team would be allowed into the country. Canada Soccer had two games scheduled that week with Iran on June 5 and Curacao on June 9 which was the opening group game of the Concacaf Nations League.
Canada is currently the 38th best team in the world while Iran is ranked 21st, as both teams prepare for the 2022 FIFA World Cup this November in Qatar.
They hadn’t played a game on Canadian soil since they beat Jamaica to seal their second World Cup berth in a game they won 4-0 at BMO Field on March 27.
Canada topped Concacaf finishing World Cup qualifying with a record of 8-2-4 which culminated with a 1-0 loss to Panama on the road on March 30. They currently have a record of 1-2-0 all-time against Iran and their latest meeting was back in 2001 in Cairo, Egypt, winning 1-0.
Canada opens the World Cup on November 23 against the second-best team in the world in Belgium before facing No. 16 Croatia on November 27. Canada finishes the group stage against Morocco on December 1.
Photo: Canada Soccer.