Lowly Charlton Athletic have raised the hackles of officials in Tehran. How so? Through military brinkmanship and the threat of sanctions if the country doesn't start toeing the official nuclear line? Nope. They've cancelled a football match against the Iranian national team.
The friendly was scheduled to be played this Saturday in Spain, but Charlton pulled out at the last minute. We can't help think their decision may have been influenced by Iran's spectacular own goal when it launched a clutch of missiles in a test last week. Iran say the Addicks cited the tests as one of the reasons, and dismissed the political nature of this "perfidy" (as the Tehran Times, in no way a biased organ, put it), while Charlton claimed that the game had never officially been confirmed.
Iran is set to sue the Championship club, but this may not appease the terraces: Iranians love their football, and this latest news won't quell rumours that the gaffer Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has lost the fans along with the dressing room (and his marbles, surely). Who knows, supporter unrest could influence the chairman, Ayatollah ali-Khamenei, to issue the dreaded 'vote of confidence' to his beleaguered boss.