USA Invites Iran to Participate In Pre-World Cup Soccer Tournament On US Soil
The US Soccer Federation has invited Iran to play a friendly against the US men’s national team, according to the head of the Iran Football Federation, Ali Kaffashian.
The Iranian national team, who are coached by Carlos Queiroz, will play against the United States in a tournament along with two other nations — one European and one from South America. No date has been announced for the friendly tournament, but it “will be conducted in due time after coordination between the two countries’ football federations,” said Kaffashian.
However, the likelihood is that the game (and tournament) would be played in April, 2014 on US soil as preparation for World Cup 2014 for the United States and Iran, both of whom have already qualified for the competition.
Iran coach Carlos Queiroz is very familiar with the United States after coaching the New York Metrostars in Major League Soccer. Plus, in 1998, Queiroz was the author of a report that detailed plans to enhance the development of soccer players in the United States, which formed the jumping off point for US Soccer’s Project 2010, where the goal was for the United States to win the World Cup by that year.
Tasmin News reports that the prospect of the friendly occurred after USSF President Sunil Gulati telephoned Queiroz and told him he was interested in a friendly game between the two countries. Queiroz then contacted Kaffashian to express his interest, as well as his desire to have Iran train in the United States prior to FIFA World Cup 2014.
According to the Inside World Football website, Iran has experienced some problems in scheduling friendlies in preparation for the World Cup due to US sanctions. Now, however, it looks like football diplomacy is going to play a part in the thaw in relations with the West.
The two other countries who could participate in the tournament in April in the United States are not yet known. However, Roy Hodgson visited Miami earlier this year to scout training locations if England qualify for World Cup 2014, so it’s possible that England could participate.