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Canada Soccer announces friendly against Panama in Vancouver

The CANMNT will play Panama on June 5th ahead of their Nations League games.

Canada host Panama Sunday 5 June 2022 at BC Place Vancouver BC
Sean Pollock / WtR

Canada has lined up a replacement for the cancelled World Cup tune-up game against Iran in Vancouver this weekend. It will be fellow CONCACAF Octagonal adversary Panama that will the void left by last Thursday’s abrupt announcement that game with Iran was called off.

The 63rd FIFA ranked Panamanians sit considerably lower than the 21st ranked Iranians. As such, the match will not serve as well for broadening the CANMNT’s experience against non-CONCACAF opposition. But, it was clear to most Canadians, soccer fans or not, that inviting Iran to play in Canada was as politically untenable as it was morally irresponsible. The unresolved issues around victim compensation for the January 8, 2020 downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 by Iranian missiles just after take-off from Tehran are at the heart of why staging this game was indefensible. Of the 176 casualties, 85 were Canadians.

Scrambling to find anybody to play on Sunday was a difficult task at this late moment, so ultimately, Panama will do. Moreover, this game will serve as a tune-up for each team’s respective CONCACAF Nations League matches in June.

In deference to the ticketing debacle caused by the Iran game cancellation, Canada Soccer announced that all tickets for Sunday’s Panama game in the lower bowl at BC Place will be priced at just $30.00. The tickets are expected to go on sale through Ticketmaster on the morning of Wednesday, June 1st.

Canada’s historical record against Panama is a mediocre 4-6-2, but it is noteworthy that all four wins came in games played in Canada. Following the friendly, Les Rouges will play another match at BC Place in Vancouver on June 9th against Curaçao, while Panama faces Martinique on the same day.