Americans near June match against Iran in Washington,
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Friday, February 5, 1999) -- Final details are being
worked out for the United States to play Iran in an international friendly
at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on either the first or second weekend
"Talks are in the final stages between our federation and theirs
and between our two governments," United States Soccer Federation
secretary General Hank Steinbrecher said. "We both want the match,
and I think it will happen." Currently the U.S. team has no matches
scheduled between the Nike U.S.
Cup in March and the Confederation Cup in Mexico in late July. "We
would like to schedule perhaps two matches before the Confederation Cup,
but we are very mindful of (Major League Soccer) and its scheduling,"
Steinbrecher told SoccerTimes.
"This is an important year for the League on we want to interfere
as little as possible. In fact, we are very unhappy with the rescheduling
of the Confederation Cup, but there was nothing we could do."
The last obstacle to an Iran match is the U.S. law forbidding any American
person or entity making payments to any Iranian company or entity,Steinbrecher
said. This would include the Iranian soccer federation.
"We are talking with the State Department and others in Washington
and we are very hopeful we can get a wavier or find some other way to
work around this," Steinbrecher said. "I think the match will
Iran defeated the U.S. 2-1 in last summerUs World Cup in France in an
emotional match. The Iranians recently won the Asian Games. A meeting
in Washington would likely have great political overtones for both countries.