Toronto (AP) — The Canadian Football Association has called off a controversial test match against Iran after criticism from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The meeting originally scheduled for June 5 in Vancouver will not take place, the association announced.
However, no specific reason was given for this. The tie, which wasn’t officially announced until May 12, was to be part of Canada’s preparation for the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to invite the Iranian soccer team here to Canada. But the organizers have to explain that,” politician Trudeau said in mid-May. The invitation caused controversy because on January 8, 2020, a plane was shot down by Iranian forces near Tehran shortly after takeoff. Among the 176 people killed on board were 55 Canadian citizens and 30 other residents of the country.
Iran’s Sports Ministry condemns Canada’s decision and demands millions in damages. Deputy Minister Sina Kallhor tweeted that the unilateral reversal of Canada’s unilateral refusal by Western countries to claim that sport should not be politicized has proven absurd. Iran will take legal action against Canada over the cancellation and seek damages of ten million US dollars (9.3 million euros), the deputy minister said.
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