Category: Asian Games 2014

Nelo Vingada sacked.

Omid Team (Iran’s U23)  head coach Nelo Vingada has lost his job following the poor results in the Asian Games and his Tax evasion problem with the authorities.

Ali Kaffashian announced the news by expressing his appreciation for the work that the Portuguese coach has done “We cannot continue working with Vingada anymore and regrettably his contract is as coach of the Omid Team is cancelled. We are actively looking at several options and I can confirm tha Zlatko Kranjcar is one of the candidates for the job” Head of FFIRI announced.

For the time being , Mahdi Tartar, Mohammad Khakpour and Hadi Tabatabaei will take over the team training which is actively preparing for the Qatar Friendship tournament until such time a permanent coach is appointed.

Deputy Minister “It is better not to participate in the Olympic Qualifiers with this team”

Deputy Minister for Youth and Sport said that the sports federations whose results were well below expectation are themselves accountable for their performances in the Asian Games. Nasrollah Sajjadi, speaking on a TV show on Friday , earmarked the FFIRI for special mention criticizing the poor performance of the football team. “If this is all what the footballers can offer, then I see no point of this team competing in the preliminaries of the Rio Olympic Games. “

“Other countries reap the awards of their hard work. The football federation is solely responsible for this team and it is obvious that this team was not prepared well.  Being third in a 3 team group is not exactly a matter of bad luck either.”

Iran’s u-23 team was eliminated from the group stages of the Asian Games for the first time in decades after losing to Vietnam 4-1 and drawing with Kyrgyzstan. None of these two teams in Iran’s group made it beyond the next round, which magnifies the ghastly performance by the U-23 team coached by Nelo Vingada.

The expected shock : Iran U23 elimnated from the Asian Games.

In what is probably the worst day for Iran’s football in decades, the elimination of the football team from the Asian Games men’s football competition was confirmed after Vietnam defeated Kyrgyzstan 1-0 this morning. With this result, Vietnam (6 points) and Kyrgyzstan (1 point) have qualified for the next round while Iran is out on goal difference.

The last time Iran was eliminated from the group stages was in the Asian Games Hiroshima, Japan in 1994 when Iran marginally failed to qualify after winning 1 match drawing 2 and losing 1.

The Asian Games regulations requires the teams or the individual to leave the Games accommodation within 24 hours, but an angry reaction from under pressure Kaffashian and the Iranian IOC , resulted in orders for the football team to leave the Olympic Village immediately and catch the first plane home.

The inquest in this shameful exit will no doubt be carried out, but we seriously doubt that anyone or any group will take the blame or accept accountability. The coach Nelo Vingada accepted the blame for the defeat but already declared that he will not resign!

Kaffashian has stated that other teams are getting stronger, which pretty much means that Iran can be defeated by any Asian team so there is no need to get excited about defeats, if one accepts Kaffashians mentality!

In the midst of all this, the real effect is on the fans of team Melli who passionately follow and support their teams but in return, they all getting abysmal results followed by a thorough packages of justifications from the “Merchants  of Speech and Preaching ”.


Iran Football performances in the Asian Gems Men Football competition.

1951 New Delhi, India                – Silver Medal

1954 Manila , Philippines            – DNP

1958 Tokyo, Japan                    – Eliminated from group stage (Worst ever results)

1966 Bangkok, Thailand               – Eliminated from group stage 

1970 Bangkok, Thailand               – Eliminated from group stage

1974 Tehran, Iran                    – Gold Medal

1978 Bangkok, Thailand               – DNP

1982 New Delhi, India                – Quarter Finals ( lost to Kuwait 0-1)

1986 Seoul, South Korea              – Quarter Finals ( lost to S. Korea on penalties)

1990 Beijing, China                  – Gold Medal

1994 Hiroshima, Japan                – Eliminated from group stage   (5 points in 5 team group)

1998 Bangkok, Thailand               – Gold Medal

2002 Busan, South Korea              – Gold Medal

2006 Doha, Qatar                     – Bronze Medal

2010 Guangzhou, China                – Fourth place

2014 Incheon, South Korea            -Eliminated from group stage   

Vingda “I accept all the blame , I apologize but will not resign”

Nelo Vingada , the Portuguese head coach of Iran’s Olympic (U-23) team, accepted all the blame for his team’s disastrous performances and said “It is no one’s fault but mine. I accept all the blame , I apologize . I know that this is the worst result of Iran in the history of the Asian Games , but I will not resign!”

Vingada was talking to the Iranian news agency reporter ISNA  in Incheon after what seems to be a certain exit by Iran’s Football team from the Asian Games. Iran has one point from a draw against Kyrgyzstan and a humiliating 4-1 defeat by Vietnam. Iran’s only hope is for Vietnam to beat  Kyrgyzstan by a 4 goal margin.

When asked by the reporter about the shortfalls of the team, the head coach provided no better answer other than to say that “These things happen in football. This football is the only sport that such unexpected results can occur!”

Vingada , who according to his compatriot Carlos Queiroz statement after the heavy loss against Vietnam, “knows his  job very well” , mentioned nothing about his team’s diabolical defending , lack of teamwork and team spirit , poor finishing by star players , selfish player’s attitude who were playing for themselves rather than the team and loads of other factors that were so vividly lacking in this team.

“I have picked this squad myself. I was under the impression that we will be working with the U-21 team “ Vingada said. Since 1996 only 23 years old players with three over-23 players were allowed per squad in the Olympic Games and subsequently followed in the Asian Games as of after 1998 games . It is not clear how Vingada got this idea of the U21 team or whether it was intentional.

“I know that a lot of people are very upset by the team results , it was so clear from the reaction that we heard. I am quite shocked myself by these bad results. At least I can tell you that there are some good players in the squad who have a good future and people should be proud of them (…)!”

Asked to comment about the ugly scene at the end of the Vietnam match involving defender Khanzadeh after he was awarded the 2nd yellow card and a dismissal, Vingada’s response was   “I was so shocked by his attitude and had a long talk with him. He regretted his action. It is easy to talk about it outside the game, but when you are losing by such a margin and you hear the opposition ( a Vietnamese player) swear at you , one would lose his temper and do such things.”

This is the icing on the cake for this supposedly experienced coach. Instead of condemning that shameful act by Khanzadeh , he is justifying it. There is no remorse detected in his statement either!

Another humiliation: Iran U23 on the brink of elimination from Asian Games

Iran U23 team once again disillusioned the fans and failed to win against modest Kyrgyzstan. The match in Group H of the Asian Games Incheon 2014 ended 1-1. Iran has 1 point from two games, Vietnam leading the group with 3 points after defeating Iran 4-1.

In today’s match , which Iran needed to win handsomely to increase its chances of qualifying , the team played like a group of misfits which was assembled in haste. The team was not able to mount any real threat against inferior opposition on paper and ranking let alone pedigree and history.

The match started quite well for Iran U23 . The first 10 minutes was completely dominated by Iran Olympic Team. The ball hardly crossed the half line into Iran side, however, Mosalman lovely strike from just inside the box was the only real threat of this period. That shot was parried by the Kyrgyz keeper. The remaining period was full of Iranian huff and puff but there was hardly any serious threat on Kyrgyzstan keeper. Most of the offensive moves by Iran was at best , quite toothless. With the match progressing , it did not take long for the coaches of Kyrgyzstan to realize how to defend well and mount counter attacks.

The first half ended 0-0.

In the second half, much of the first half scenario was repeating itself with the exception that Kyrgyzstan was getting bolder in attack and starting to threaten Iran’s goal . They could have stunned everyone when the Kyrgyz forward was one on one but failed to finish. 

Iranian offensive moves were mainly some shy attempts by Kaveh Rezaei whose shots were more like practice for the Kyrgyzstan keeper. The other poster boy, Mehdi Sharifi was incognito.!

With the match approaching the last 10 minutes and Iran desperate for a goal,  a corner was given which Mohsen Mosalman masterfully took and delivered on the top of Pouraliganji’s head. The tall midfielder headed to the far corner of the net and scored triggering an ecstatic Iranian celebration and deep sigh of relief on the bench. Pouraliganji’s goal came in the 77th minute.

Two minutes from the end , Kyrgyzstan struck and struck well. A long cross from a foul from the left found a Kyrgyzstan player with ample time to control the ball and head towards the goal. Despite the presence of 3 markers, the ball passed the goal line to register the equalizer for Kyrgyzstan. It was a deserving goal for this modest team, but well-organized and hardworking.

Iran’s football is on the brink of a real humiliation. The Continents most celebrated country in Asian Games football is virtually out of the tournament, unless you believe in miracle s and Saints rising to help this toothless team with clueless coaching staff.

Never in the history of Asian Games football, Iran faced such a degradation, but under the administration of Ali Kaffashian , such fiascoes and bitter defeats should not be too shocking.  It is certainly not too shocking for Kaffashian as he thought of Vietnam as a strong team and was perhaps was at loss at what all this fuss is about, we only lost 4-1 to Vietnam!

And now…….let the excuses begin….

Kaveh Rezaei begs forgiveness from the fans.

 Kaveh Rezaei , the central forward of Iran’s U23 team , in an interview with Mehrnews , apologized for the Iranian fans for the humiliating result against Vietnam. Rezaei attributed the loss on bad luck , while on the other hand, he expressed his bitterness against all the criticism directed towards the team and considered it destructive !

Kaveh Rezaei is partnering Mehdi Sharifi , two of the top young guns of Iranian football , in the Olympic team (Iran U23). The pair of them have wasted at least 4 definite scoring opportunities against Vietnam especially since Yaghoub Karimi was substituted in and impressively fed the pair with quality balls and crosses.

Rezaei attributed his misses and the team loss to bad luck, while he claimed that Vietnam was very lucky as they scored from every attack!

Rezaei said “Believe me when I tell you that all of us could not sleep after the defeat. We were at fault for this defeat, but this sort of things happens regularly in football.  We were bad and the Vietnamese were lucky.”

“We ran for 90 minutes and fought for every ball, but we were not successful. Brazil also heavily lost to Germany and so did Spain, but they were not crucified as were are being treated back home”

 “Many people consider this team as the hope of Iran’s football future. This team has lost and it needs support and encouragement from the public, not condemnation!”

“It is not proper to receive so much criticism. Everyone is talking against us and that is destructive. The people who are supposed to be our mentors and seniors are speaking against us, instead of guiding and encouraging us”

Rezaei concluded “It is just not fair to be on the receiving end of so much denunciation and verbal attack. Despite all that, we will do our best to beat Kyrgyzstan tomorrow and qualify to get a medal.”

Kaveh Rezaei , probably expected a pat on the back and “Hard Luck” commendation from everyone for a job well done against Vietnam! His reaction underlies how some footballer’s mentality has swayed off course.

Asian Games: Iran Football Official Suspected of Sexual Harassment

Seoul: South Korean police said on Tuesday that they are investigating an official from Iran’s Asian Games delegation over suspicions that he sexually harassed a female volunteer at a football stadium near the host city of Incheon.

The man, who has been banned from leaving the country, admitted touching the woman while taking a photo with her on Monday at Ansan Wa Stadium, one of the Asian Games soccer venues, but said he did not think his actions were illegal, police inspector Park Min-joo said.

The man has not been taken into custody, but is being investigated and will be further questioned before police decide whether to send the case to prosecutors for possible indictment, Park said.

Bruce Lee from the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee said the suspect is a 38-year-old equipment manager for Iran’s national soccer team. The woman, a college student, reported the incident to police on Monday.

As result of this incident , The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) banned football equipment manager Ahmad  Amereh from Games sites and asked the Iranian team to send him home for verbally harassing the volunteer on Monday.

Will Iran U23 be eliminated before the Asian Games start?

After the humiliating opening group game defeat against Vietnam, a 4-1 result that sent shock waves to many critics, experts and fans in Iran, the Olympic team is under the threat of elimination from the Asian Games , before even the game officially starts. This would be a milestone in Iran’s football, a one which is truly mortifying for a nation that claims to be at the top level of Asian football.

Iran has to beat Kyrgyzstan on Thursday and by a comprehensive margin to assure qualification in what was seen as an easy group.  The Asian Games Men’s football competition draw could not have been any kinder to Iran , as not only it has put it in 3 team group instead of 4 , it also  placed it with FIFA ranking 139 (Vietnam) and 144 (Kyrgyzstan) or no 21 and 22 in Asia. This time there are no Arab teams, who have really learned how to play against the Iranians, to disturb the U23 team progress. Apparently that huge advantage meant nothing as the little Vietnamese showed the mighty Iranians a few tricks of their own, specifically scoring.

Beating Kyrgyzstan at this level is not an easy task as Iran discovered in the last Olympic Qualifiers in 2011. Human Afazeli was the coach when Iran U23 struggled to beat Kyrgyzstan by the tightest of margins 1-0 in Tehran while they were lucky to get a goal-less draw in Bishkek and qualified by a single goal margin. Afazeli is currently working alongside Nelo Vingada as the U23 Team Manager in Incheon.

Vietnam player celebrates scoring against Iran

Defeats in football is part and parcel of the game, but the manner of defeat can make a world of difference and in many cases, it highlights the underlying problems of that football. Ali Kaffashian has been running the federation with his usual grin for 7 years and getting away with one poorly and disjointed organization. According to the respected Amir Haj Rezaei ” the system and the administration of football in Iran is the biggest culprit behind these humiliation of our football.  Time and again, the only victims are the coaches who lose their jobs while those who are really accountable or at least share  a large portion of the blame ,  maintain their power , repeatedly display their incompetence and inability to manage football , and continue repeating the same mistakes. Our football is at the mercy of politicians’ whims and being exploited by them. These are people who have seen a great opportunity in football to exploit it and benefit from its popularity. Without improvements at the top, chances of success are slim at field level.”

For Kaffashian , it is business as usual. Asked about this humiliating defeat in the press conference after signing the contract with Queiroz, the incumbent President of FFIRI claimed that there are no easy teams in the World Anymore! Down deep inside, he was probably wondering what all this fuss is about!

That response by Kaffashian , just about sums up this man’s standard and aspiration towards Iran’s football.  Driven by other behind the scenes, not much can be expected from this FFIRI administration.

Players and coaches, have to take all the burden of competitions in order to succeed.

Iran U23 meets Kyrgyzstan u23 at 12:30 Tehran time on Thursday 18th September.


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Iran U23 team will play its first match in the 17th Asian Games Incheon 2014 against the unknown quality of Vietnam U23 on Tuesday 15th September 2014.

Despite the irregular preparation and several difficulties in the release of the players bu their clubs, Vingada has arranged a sound group of players and has enough firepower to go through this easy group without much difficulties. Only 3 teams for the Iran group in the Asian games.


Iran U-23 Squad

17rh Asian Games Incheon 2014

AKHBARISHADMohammadreza 15 FEB 1993
CHESHMI Roozbeh 24 JUL 1993
DANESHGAR Mohammad 20 JAN 1994
ESMAEILI Farshid 23 FEB 1994
HEYDARIEH Vahid 03 JAN 1993
KANANI ZADEGAN Mohammadhossein 23 MAR 1994
KARIMI Ali 11 FEB 1994
KARIMI Yaghoub 31 AUG 1991
KHANZADEHDARABY Mohammad Reza 11 MAY 1991
MAHDIPOUR Mahdi 18 FEB 1994
MOSALMAN Mohsen 27 JAN 1991
NASERI Mohammad 18 APR 1993
PAHLAVAN Ehsan 25 JUL 1993
POURALIGANJI Morteza 19 APR 1992
REZAEI Kaveh 05 APR 1992
REZAVAND Arash 05 OCT 1993
SEDGHI Hojjat 07 FEB 1993
SHARIFI Mehdi 16 AUG 1992
SHIRVAND Shahryar 21 MAR 1991
VAKIA Yousef 30 SEP 1993