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Soccer-Blow For Iran As Kosovo Friendly Cancelled

Iran--National football team
Iran--National football team
May 31 (Reuters)

Iran's World Cup preparations were hit by a second cancellation of a friendly match ahead of next month's tournament in Russia.

The Iranians were hoping to face Kosovo in Istanbul on Saturday, in a game which had been quickly organised after a scheduled friendly against Greece was cancelled.

A statement from Iran's Football Federation said: "New last minute demands presented by Kosovo Football Federation came to make the accomplishment of the game totally impossible."

The Federation said it intends to report the Greek FA to FIFA regarding the cancellation of that game. "The Iranian Federation will advance with a report to FIFA and take all legal possibilities, seeking compensation for all the damages caused, in sport and financial areas," it said in a statement.

"Until further proceeding of this report by FIFA, the Iranian Federation announces the suspension of relations with the Greek Federation."

Iran's only game before the tournament will be in Moscow against Lithuania on June 8. The Iranians face Morocco in their World Cup Group B opener on June 15 before matches against Spain and Portugal.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond)