US and Iran can bond over football to build political bridges
Published 25/06/2014 | 02:30
The leaders of the United States of America and Iran would have you think that the citizens of both countries have nothing in common, that they're two countries on radically opposed cultural trajectories. But they would be wrong.
Because as of last weekend, the residents of both countries will be bound together forever in the sorrow of loving football, and believing incredible things.
And then in added time both countries had their dreams cruelly denied. Moments of genius from Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had robbed the people of Iran and America of an impossible thing that felt on the verge of realisation.
There was news in the last few weeks that America and Iran are beginning to co-operate to help combat the rise of ISIS in Iraq.
I have a better idea for co-operation between the nations: a set of friendlies, one in New York, the other in Tehran, after both teams are eliminated from the World Cup. Or even a big group hug session.
Because their pain is the same, and from a shared suffering in sport, all kinds of bridges can be built.