or the last few days there have been many conflicting reports about the next season’s cup competition. The Hazfi Cup, translated into the Knock out Cup , has been the center of some controversy which all ignited by some sources within the Iran Football Federation (IRIFF) declaring that this coming season will have no Hazfi Cup competition.
The justification for the elimination of this long lasting and popular competition which includes many teams from all the IRIFF league divisions, is the fact that Team Melli is involved in the World Cup qualification and hence the cancellation of this competition will assist in the preparation of the National Team!
Hadi Ayatollahei, the Vice-President of the federation has been quoted by Mehr news agency that the Cup competition is cancelled, A few hours later a conflicting statement was given by the second Vice-President t of IRIFF, Gholamreza Behravan, who said that the federation is still awaiting a verdict by the Asian Football Confederation on the outcome, so there is no decision on the status of the Hazfi Cup yet!.
There were also some reports that the cancellation of the Hazfi cup was based on a request from the Team Melli coach, Carlos Queiroz. This prompted the Portuguese coach to issue an angry denial in which he categorically dismissed any involvement by himself or his coaching team on decision to whether the cup competition will go ahead or not.
To confuse matters further, Omid Jamali, The International Public Relations Manager of IRIFF, has denied any knowledge of any correspondence between his federations and the AFC in regards to this issue as quoted by Mehr news.
TeamMelli.com contacted AFC to check the status of this merry-go-round affair. AFC’s Shahin Rahmani confirming that a correspondence has been received by AFC requesting a ruling by AFC on the validity of canceling the Cup Competition. The request will be addressed by the two AFC committees before a decision is given. The matter will be will be referred to the “Professional Football Ad-Hock Committee” and “Competitions Committee” on July 17 & 18 for their reference and decisions.
There is very little doubt that the cancellation of Hazfi Cup has been discussed in the IRIFF be it in a limited capacity or in a general meeting. What remains a mystery is how those who support such cancellation of a very old and established competition in Iran’s history and league calendar, will support and enhance Team Melli’s chances of qualification to Brazil in 2014. In the last three times that Iran qualified to the Finals of the FIFA World Cup and during the seventies golden era when Team Melli won the Asian Cup unprecedented 3 times on the trot , there was no such cancellation of the cup competition. In fact Iran holds the World record for total of matches played in a World Cup qualifications in 1997 , when Team Melli qualified to the World Cup 1998 in France , playing 27 matches , the cup competition was played as normal.
It remains to be seen what is the final verdict on this completion and what true justification the federation has to cancel it.
Sources: AFC. Mehrnews, IRIFF