Report: US considering pre-World Cup friendly vs. Iran
In what could be a historic exhibition match, the US Soccer Federation has reportedly considered a friendly against Iran as a tune-up for next summer's World Cup.
The USMNT has had preliminary discussions about hosting a friendly against Iran ahead of next year’s World Cup, NBC News reported.
The match could be part of a mini-tournament to be held on American soil in April, as Iranian media reported, involving Iran, a team from Europe and a team from South America.
Both the US and Iran have qualified for the World Cup and any a match would likely only occur if the teams aren’t drawn into the same group, which will be determined Dec. 6.
“There [have] been preliminary discussions regarding the possibility of a USA and Iran match,” Iran’s goalie coach, Dan Gaspar, an American citizen, e-mailed to Foxsports. “There is genuine interest on both sides to have this possible match become a reality. Things are in motion.”
“For 90 minutes, [it’s] an ideal gesture towards diplomacy and could be a launching pad towards respectful, honest and peaceful solutions. The world would benefit from such discussions,” he wrote.
A spokesman for the United States Soccer Federation said the organization has reached out to all of the nine countries which have qualified for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil and that no fixtures are currently set.
“We’ve reached out to every team that’s qualified for the World Cup because we know that a lot of teams are looking at the possibility of coming to the United States for a pre-World Cup training camp,” the spokesman said to Fox. “Have we reached out to Iran? Yes. But we’ve talked to all these federations.”
The apparent olive branch comes just weeks after President Obama spoke with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – the first time the leaders of both countries spoke since 1979.
In two prior matches against Iran, the US is 0-1-1, including a loss at the 1998 World Cup in France which knocked the US out of the tournament.
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