Canada cancels the test: Iran’s national team is the regime’s game? | Sports | DW

Sardar Azmoun was looking forward to a special trip: at the beginning of June, the professional from Bayer Leverkusen was scheduled to play a friendly match against Canada with the Iranian national football team. Another confrontation against Ecuador and a training camp in Canada was planned for Iran, which, like Canada, qualified for the 2022 World Cup. But the Canadian Federation canceled the match against the Iranian selection on Thursday night European time, creating further political tension between the two countries, which have not maintained diplomatic relations Since 2012.

On the way to Turkey

However, Azmon and parts of the team traveled to Ankara, where they wanted to apply for a visa at the Canadian Embassy. The Iranian team was scheduled to come to the Turkish capital in two separate travel delegations to submit applications. Azmoun belongs to the first group and wrote on Instagram on Friday morning: “Go to Turkey.”

He also responded to the cancellation by the Canadian Federation via Instagram: “I am very sorry that this friendly match has been cancelled. I hope our future World Cup preparatory matches will not be affected by the same fate,” he wrote at 27 years old. He and his team became the “Canadian Football Association’s Game Ball”.

popular pressure in canada

The Canadian Association did not give any specific reasons in announcing the cancellation. However, the main reason may have been the public pressure caused by the protests of relatives of the victims of the 2020 plane crash in Iran. On January 8, 2020, Iranian forces shot down a plane en route to Kyiv, near Tehran, shortly after take-off. Of the 176 people on board killed, 55 Canadians and 30 residents of the country.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is unhappy with the friendly schedule

The scheduling of the trial match against Iran for June 5, 2022 in Vancouver led to protests in Canada from the start. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also critical: “I don’t think it was a good idea to invite the Iranian football team here to Canada. But the organizers need to clarify that,” the prime minister said in mid-May.

Calculated scandal?

The Iranian team’s trip to Canada has finally come to an end as the friendly match against Ecuador and the training camp planned before the match against the Canadians has been cancelled. And the cancellation was not an immediate issue in Canada only after the appointment was announced on May 12, 2022. Team manager Hamid Esteli, representative of the Iranian Football Federation, has repeatedly emphasized that in the event of cancellation by Canadians, compensation will be claimed. The suspicion is that the Iranian side could have taken into account the rejection from the beginning.

Iran’s Sports Ministry responded quickly after the cancellation. Deputy Sports Minister Sina Kalhor said on Twitter that the claim of Western countries not to politicize the sport has proven absurd with Canada’s unilateral rejection. He said Iran would take legal action against Canada over the cancellation and would demand compensation of $10 million.

Explosive wallpapers

“Politics should not be confused with sports,” Sardar Azmoun wrote on Instagram, stressing that one does not deserve to be excluded from major competitions or to play for other national teams. “Young people in Iran do not deserve the current situation. Long live Iranians and Iran,” Azmoun said.

SHIFT Series: Digital Protest, New York / Iran

Well-known journalist and activist Masih Al-Yanad comes from Iran and lives in exile in New York

Well-known journalist and human rights activist Masih Gharib responded to this on the social network and contacted Azmoun directly. “Dear Sardar Azmoun, you have defended Soleimani and Khamenei many times. And above all, in the context of punishing the Revolutionary Guards of the national team on the trip to Canada, you suddenly claim that sports should not be mixed. With politics?

A tool of the Iranian regime?

“If there is no political sport, why did you ask to meet with the political leaders of the Islamic Republic?” Not only is her public counter-rhetoric explosive, but also the reference to representatives of the Revolutionary Guards, apparently disguised as members of the Iranian delegation in Canada, as well as their participation in this issue.

Because it itself was clearly hijacked by the Iranian state. Plans thwarted by the FBI envision the kidnapping of Alianad, who lives in New York, on American soil. It is also said that team manager Esteli, who scored the goal in the 2-1 victory over the United States at the 1998 World Cup in France and was revered as a national hero, was aware.

“If there is no political sport, why does your team manager Hamid Esteli appear at the annual banquet of Mahmoud Khazin, the security guard of the Islamic Republic of Iran who plotted to kidnap an American woman in the United States?” The Iranian national team is a tool of the Iranian regime and not a game in the hands of the Canadian Federation, like Azmoun. “You and your favorite sport are nothing but a political tool in the hands of political leaders so that they can present themselves – to the world – as a normal regime,” responds Allijnade, the Bundesliga professional, who will not travel to Canada with his team. But the will has certainly become a puppet of political interests.

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