Iran agrees to football friendly with US

May 27th, 2009 - 5:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Tehran, May 27 (DPA) Iran’s sports chief has agreed to a request by the United States national team to play a football friendly game later this year in Tehran’s Azadi stadium, media reports said Wednesday.
“We agree with holding this friendly game,” Mohammad Ali-Abadi, who is also deputy to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told sports daily Iran Wednesday.

The president of the Iranian Football Federation (FFI) had earlier said that due to political sensitivities all relevant details should be cleared before the FFI could reply to the US request.

The US team had suggested in its request to play the game in either October or November.

FFI president Ali Kafashian however noted that the two dates given by the US could coincide with possible World Cup play-off games for Iran and might be revised.

Iran claimed a prestigious 2-1 win over the US at the 1998 World Cup in France which was celebrated at that time in Iran as more than just a sports victory.

Iran and the US have had no diplomatic ties for over three decades and several efforts in the recent years to end the estrangement have failed.

While Washington accused Iran as terrorism sponsor and party of the “axis of evil,” Tehran brands the US as “Great Satan” and enemy of Islam and Muslims worldwide.

New US President Barack Obama, however, appears ready to resume talks with Iran, over issues such as Iran’s nuclear programme or cooperation in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

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