A friendly game against Canada in June is “all but confirmed”, said Hassan Kamranifar, secretary-general of Iran Football Federation.
Iran will begin preparation for November’s World Cup in Qatar with a training camp in the North American country during FIFA’s two-week international break – starting May 30.
Speaking to Iran’s IRIB TV3 on Monday night, Kamranifar said: “We’re negotiating with other countries for two or three friendlies during the upcoming visit to Canada. The game against Canada is almost a done deal.”
Kamranifar added the majority of the European teams will be tied to the UEFA Nations League during the two weeks but the federation is in talks with Albania for a second friendly in Canada – after its game against Russia was called off.
Dragan Skocic’s men will then leave for training camp in Qatar, where Iran may also play another match, Kamranifar said.
The game against Canada could play a significant role in Skocic’s plan for the World Cup as the North American side resembles the style of football played by USA, one of Iran’s Group B opponents in Qatar.
Canada had an impressive campaign at CONCACAF qualifiers, beating Mexico, USA, and Costa Rica to the top spot for a place in November’s showdown.
Iran is also pitted against England and one of Wales, Scotland, or Ukraine in the World Cup.
The Asian powerhouse will begin its quest for a first-ever place in the World Cup knockouts with a game against England at Al Rayyan’s Khalifa International Stadium on November 21.
Iran will have to wait until June to learn which European opponent it will face on November 25 as the winner of the match between Scotland and Ukraine will play Wales in Cardiff for the last slot in the group.
Skocic’s men will then take on USA in a repeat of the clash between the two geopolitical foes at the 1998 World Cup in France, which Iran won 2-1.
The game will be played in Doha on November 29 – a memorable date for the Iranian football fans since their national team played to a 2-2 draw against Australia in Melbourne in 1997 to celebrate only a second qualification for the World Cup finals.