Iran's football federation has suspended all relations with its Greek counterpart after a friendly between the two nations scheduled in Istanbul was abruptly cancelled amid ongoing Greece-Turkey tensions, the official IRNA news agency reported.
IRNA carried a statement late Thursday by the Iranian federation, saying the cancellation inflicted "serious damage" to the Iran national team's preparations for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The statement said Iran will take "legal action" through world football governing body FIFA to force Greece to financially compensate the Iranian players and sport over the cancellation.
The friendly was scheduled for Saturday in Istanbul. IRNA said that after Greece pulled out, the Kosovo team was to take its place but that substitute friendly also got cancelled. The friendlies were supposed to be in preparation for the World Cup.
There was no immediate reaction to the Iranian decision from the Greek Football Federation, which is separately facing the threat of international suspension over match-related violence and delays in administrative reforms demanded by FIFA. Greek organizers had reportedly sought an alternative venue to Istanbul for the friendly due to an ongoing high-profile dispute between Greece and neighbor Turkey.
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