Monday, July 14, 2008

Bush-league

Some people are probably wondering what happened to the Galaxy-Iran friendly I reported the team was setting up. The Galaxy had arranged the match with Iran's coach Ali Daei, and the USSF had granted approval and endorsed the whole venture. Everything was set - except for the visas needed by the Iranian players.
Officially, that's where things ended. Though no one went on record saying so, the bottom line is that the last thing needed for the event to proceed was State Department approval on the visas.
Apparently, approval to travel to the U.S. is just not happening these days for Iranian athletes.

So it's not hard to figure that the State Department basically killed the exhibition.

4 comments:

FC Uptown said...

Charlton in the UK just cancelled their match with Iran too.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/footballNews/idUKL1461646420080714

Anonymous said...

http://www.elcomercio.com.pe/ediciononline/HTML/2008-07-14/nolberto-Solano-haria-dupla-David-Beckham-angeles-Galaxy.html

off-topic-Nolberto Solano to LA Galaxy-reported in Peruvian papers-any confirmation?

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

a.c., I'm glad the State Department did this. Given the Iranian president's stated intention to obliterate another country, the regime's support of terrorism and the fact that Iranian-made IED's are killing American troops in Iraq, no American team has any business playing Iran. Doing so just gives the current tyrants credibility.

If you have a chance, do some research on a friendly between England and Germany in Berlin in 1938. The English players even gave the Nazi salute as a gesture of friendship, and were soundly criticized for it back home.

Needless to say, that friendly didn't help prevent the Blitz.

I don't see why FIFA doesn't ban Iran from competition the way it banned South Africa from competition for maintaining apartheid. Treating one's own citizens as second-class is bad enough. Threatening to obliterate another nation is something else entirely.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Then again, a.c., in reference to your ESPN.com piece, I'm not surprised at Lalas' remarks. He has turned into the perfect corporate shill, devoid of all individuality or independent thought (unlike his playing days). Making Money and Extending The Brand is AEG's god, whether it's selling overpriced Beckham jerseys, gouging fans for parking and seats on the grass underneath the HDC scoreboard or playing ruthless regimes. Principles and integrity be damned!!