Avram Grant’s Unfriendly FriendlyBy: The Offside | February 20th, 2012
Over the past several, oh, thousand years, there have been a serious of minor skirmishes in the Middle East, along with lots of “I don’t like you.” and “You’re a stupid head.” being flung back and forth.
It’s no secret that Iran and Israel aren’t exactly cuddle buddies. And it does occasionally seep into the footballing world, despite being a part of different federations – such as the case with Ashkan Dejagah.
And now Avram Grant’s Partizan has joined the “no thank you” list.
Now raise your hand if you knew Avram Grant to be coaching Partizan. (Happened in mid-January, so all’s forgiven.)
Avram Grant says the Iranian side Sepahan Isfahan have pulled out of a friendly with his Partizan Belgrade side because he is Israeli.
Partizan had been due to play the Iranians this Friday in Antalya, but have been informed their opponents will not take part any more.
In an explanation posted on Partizan’s official website, the former Chelsea, Portsmouth and West Ham United manager said he had been told “unofficially” that the match had been cancelled because he was Israeli, and called the decision “shameful”.
Not that political issues need to be brought up at the moment – walk away…just walk away – but those little flags on Wikipedia for team personnel can be really, really handy, even if you need to cycle through the languages in the sidebar.