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Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 14:48 UK

Iran protests over football match

By Jon Leyne
BBC News, Tehran

Iranian football fans
Charlton may have cancelled a friendly match with Iran over missile tests

Iran's national football federation has launched a protest against the English Championship side, Charlton Athletic, for pulling out of a friendly match.

Iran says Charlton were due to play against the Iranian national side this Saturday in Spain.

The Iranians have complained to football's world governing body, FIFA, saying Charlton withdrew from the match for political reasons.

However, Charlton have denied the game was ever confirmed.

Missile tests

According to the secretary general of the Iranian Football Federation, Charlton Athletic agreed to play a friendly game against the Iranian national team in the Spanish resort of Marbella.

The game was due to be played this weekend.

However, after Iran conducted missile tests last week, an official from Charlton sent a letter cancelling the game.

The Charlton officials said they could not go ahead with the match because of the missile tests.

Another Iranian official said they were complaining to the world football governing body, FIFA, because politics should not be allowed to interfere with sport.

A spokesman for Charlton Athletic said, they "did have discussions about a game but they were never concluded, so it wasn't right to say the game was cancelled".


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