While Team Melli was gearing up to play the Canadian men's national team on Sunday, June 5th in Vancouver, today Canada Soccer announced the cancelation of the event after facing pressure from a group of activists that demanded the game be blocked and wanted the Canadian government to refuse visas to Iranian soccer players.

Sports and cultural exchanges provide ordinary Iranians a rare opportunity to connect with the global community and take part in events that show the humanity of the Iranian people, who have long been demonized and dehumanized because of the actions of the government. Sports have often served as an occasion for people to come together around the world - when tensions are high between countries, sports are supposed to be neutral ground.

The targeting of sports exchanges conflates the Iranian people with their authoritarian government, which will only hurt ordinary people and fuel the tensions that cause human suffering and the death of civilians. There may not be many satisfying tools to hold Iran's rulers accountable, but in the struggle for agency we can't turn against one another and allow ordinary people to suffer.

That being said, we would like to take this opportunity to hear from the community. Will you take our poll to share how you feel about today's news?

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Team Melli Match Canceled

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