Canada-Iran friendly canceled after Trudeau criticism | Sports

TORONTO (AP) — The friendly match between the Canadian and Iranian soccer teams in Vancouver on June 5 was canceled Thursday after criticism from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Canadian Soccer Association issued a brief statement announcing the cancellation, but did not include an explanation.

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile on January 8, 2020, minutes after taking off from Tehran. The Canadian government says that among the 176 people killed in the attack were 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.

The Canadian federation announced the match on May 12 as part of the build-up to Canada’s first World Cup appearance since 1986.

“This was a Soccer Canada election,” Trudeau said five days later. “I think it was not a very good idea to invite the Iranian soccer team here to Canada. But that is something that the organizers are going to have to explain.”

Ralph Goodale, Canada’s High Commissioner to the UK, tweeted on Wednesday: “This behavior by Canada Soccer is disgusting. It calls into question both the competence and the values ​​of the organization.”

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