Canada Soccer cancels a scheduled controversial exhibition game against Iran

Image: Canada Soccer. Credit: Twitter page of Canada Soccer

Canada Soccer said it is reportedly canceling a controversial exhibition game against Iran scheduled for June 5 as part of preparations for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.

The international match was scorned by the families of those who died aboard Flight PS752 when the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down the plane in 2020 killing all 176 passengers and crew members on board the aircraft including 85 Canadians and permanent residents.

The affected families said the exhibition match was an insult to those still seeking justice for their loved ones, especially due to concerns about the IRGC’s possible ties to Iran’s team.

Hamed Esmaeilion, spokesperson for the association representing victims’ families in Canada reportedly said that this is the right thing to do.

Canada Soccer made the announcement Thursday on Twitter. It promised to provide additional details to all ticket purchasers.

Canada Soccer received more than $3 million in federal funding this fiscal year. The government says none of that money went toward the match.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reportedly said again earlier this week that he thought the game was “a bad idea” and distanced his government from the match and its funding.

Letters by victims’ families were also written to Public Safety Canada officials Tuesday regarding concerns about their own security. Victims’ families have been harassed, threatened, as well as intimidated by proxies of the IRGC, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service reported.

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