Beckham diplomacy may thaw US-Iran relations

David Beckham

Can David Beckham defuse tensions between Iran and the US? Iranian football fans certainly hope so.
They are bursting with anticipation after Iranian officials said Beckham's LA Galaxy club has challenged the Iranian national team to a friendly match in the US next month.

The game would be a huge hit with the football-crazy population in Iran where Beckham is a sporting hero and fashion icon.

Selling tickets for the friendly would be no problem in Los Angeles which is home to so many Iranian expatriates that Iranians have nicknamed the city Tehrangeles.

Iran's football federation is now waiting for an official invitation from its American counterpart for the game to go ahead, officials in Tehran say.

"We will surely play LA Galaxy in the case of receiving an official invitation from the soccer federation of the US," said Hassan Ghaffari, the head of the foreign relations committee of Iran's football federation.

"Since the American club has asked for a friendly match with Iran's football team, then the USSF (US soccer federation) should send us a formal invitation.

"Otherwise, it would not be possible for us to travel to the US," Mr. Ghaffari added.

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