In an effort to defuse tensions following a recent walkout by the Saudi Al Ittihad team in Iran, the two nations have agreed to reschedule an Asian Champions League match.
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian announced the agreement, emphasizing the need to keep sports free from political leverage. The match cancellation, prompted by the Al Ittihad team's refusal to enter the field, will be reviewed on a "technical" basis by the Asian Football Confederation, according to Amirabdollahian.
The walkout had raised concerns about the potential impact on the recent thaw in relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, who have long been regional rivals supporting opposing sides in conflicts across the Middle East. Both nations have expressed a desire to move past the incident in the days following the walkout.
The Asian Champions League match cancellation is a rare occurrence as the tournament marks the first time since 2015 that Saudi Arabian and Iranian teams play on each other's soil. The diplomatic relations between the two nations were restored earlier this year, raising hopes for improved regional stability.