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If the Iran world cup team loses Mahmoud could be a goner ... imagine that.
But the clash between North Korea and Iran in Pyongyang on Saturday could be one of those occasions when the cliché actually proves true. A World Cup qualifier between the two remaining members of George W. Bush’s infamous axis of evil – one fresh from a nuclear test, the other accused by some of wanting to conduct its own – sparks all sorts of international intrigue.
Coming just six days before the football-mad Iranians vote in presidential elections it could also have domestic repercussions.
The comment might be seen as wishful thinking by a government opponent but it is echoed by a fundamentalist politician, sympathetic to Mr Ahmadi-Nejad: “The results of these football matches might shift a significant number of votes from one candidate to another.”
In an election expected to be close – and where Mir-Hossein Moussavi, the rival reformist candidate, is said to be gaining support – that could be significant.
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