Once Elated, Iran Cools World Cup Fervor

Placed in a difficult FIFA World Cup group with Argentina, Nigeria and Bosnia and  Herzegovina, fans back home feel Iran has very little chance of advancing in the tournament.

updated: June 12, 2014 15:57 IST
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Tehran: In a city where few people are allowed to organize large gatherings, and fun is enjoyed in private, the public celebrations of a year ago are legendary.

The Iranian national soccer team, called Team Melli here, had just qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 2006 by beating South Korea in a tense match. Millions of Iranians flooded the streets of the capital in a display of pure happiness, dancing and singing of national pride. The authorities were helpless to stop them.

Now, days before Iran's opening World Cup match with Nigeria on Monday, fun-loving Iranians should be thrilled for a new opportunity to celebrate. But Tehran is possibly the only capital in the world where there are no signs of the coming tournament.

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