The director of foreign relations for the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Ali Ardebili, quickly responded to Israeli Army Radio that he did not mean to send the greeting to the Israel Football Association.
"It is a greeting sent to every country in the world," Ardebili said. He quickly then inquired: "Are you talking from Israel? I can't speak with you. It's a mistake, it's a mistake."
The greeting was received by the head of the Israel Football Association's legal department, Amir Navon.
"He came into my office asking me if I thought it was a mistake," said a spokesperson for the Israel Soccer Federation, Gil Levanoni. "So I told him that I didn't know, but that we should send in a reply."
Levanoni and Navon said they replied to the greeting with a "happy new year to all the good people of Iran," and said: "We also added a wink."
"We wrote them that we hoped that they would have a happy soccer year," Levanoni added.
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life