Mehdi Taj, The arrogant and condescending head of FFIRI under fire.

In a feeble attempt by Mehdi Taj to cover his own personal shortfalls and those of his administration, the president of the football federation FFIRI gave explanations about the bitter exchanges in a live TV show, the future plans of Team Melli, and the new form of club competitions in Asia suggested by the AFC.

Referring to the results of Iran in the World Cup, Mehdi Taj, said: “The result is always determined on the field, It’s true that we endured big pressure off the field and the players didn’t have the concentration required for such top-level competition, and maybe time will pass and no one will remember what these issues were. Moreover, when we returned to Iran, this important issue (off-field tension) was not discussed much, and how far the team was from the tranquil atmosphere of concentration required for the competition. However, I accept that we failed and I apologize for that. Although no one has seen our apology in the statement of the federation, my colleagues and I had done this with full humility. I believe that under normal circumstances, our team would have advanced with this quality that we have.”

Although he claimed that “we” failed, it was far from a genuine admission in the interview as he was vigorously defending his federation and the work of Queiroz.

The head of the football federation added: “I know that the main discussion these football days is about the issue of Team Melli’s head coach. I want everyone to allow us to make the best decision in this matter. I assure you that the federation and the board of directors will be the trustees of the people and will make the best decision. Our goal is to compensate for this result in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 and, God willing, we will announce our decision on the appointment of the head coach considering all aspects and the good of the national team.”

What Taj claims is not consistent with facts and track records. In his shift, Taj was responsible for two major failures in appointing the Head Coach of Team Melli, one was the disastrous Marc Wilmots, for which he resigned his post before being questioned, and the other was recently in appointing Carlos Queiroz with three months to go to the World Cup!

How would the fans and critics believe that Taj will get it right the third time? Has he gained some superior knowledge in the last few days or weeks, has he attended seminars or consulted with the elites of world football for us to believe that he and his cronies, will get it right this time?

Selection of the Head coach and the coaching team in National teams is a process. FFIRI lacks that process and even if there is written in some obscure manual of FFIRI, it will not be followed. It is the Head of the FFIRI that decides. Not dissimilar to the system that country is run, it is a one-man show here too. The comical act of the Technical Committee that sacked  Dragan Skocic without having the authority to do so, during Misrshad Majedi’s term as acting head of FFIRI, shows how chaotic this federation and the people associated with it are.

Taj finally mentioned a subject he was trying hard to avoid, and that was the TV Sport show that was talk of the town and social media since Thursday. Taj’s arrogance, sarcasm, dark humor, and condescending attitude toward the two presenters, were not received well by the fans and media.

” First of all, I consider it my duty to once again thank the media for their sincere support during the World Cup. My colleagues and I at the Football Federation are eagerly interested in receiving suggestions and criticisms from media friends. Regarding the topics related to appearing on the sports network program, that night I had general expectations about the manner of the questions and the questions themselves, which I don’t want to reveal, but for example, in the discussion of the former head coach of the national team, Mr. Khiabani, could have said “what happened to the Wilmots case? ‘, which I should have answered, instead, Mr. Khabani suddenly said, “Where is the Wilmots case?” Maybe I shouldn’t have said it was in my pocket, but I should have explained the process that I did. I fully explained that the Wilmots case has resulted in a penalty against the FFIRI in the amount of 9.2 million euros, because of contract violations.

Regarding the issues raised with Rasul Majidi, the young show host of the program whom Taj clearly insulted, he said: “The reality is that this host is like my own son. I am also interested in him. At the beginning of the World Cup, I spoke only with him in this TV show. I was supposed to go to the studio on the last day. I am interested in them and I sincerely apologize.  Taj who insinuated that Majidi was a novice in football due ro his young age, turned around and said “In the football federation, people of his age do important work. I don’t want him to be upset either.

At the end of that interview, Taj made a strong statement saying that the IRIB has no place in making football policy or questioning who is going to be Team Melli’s coach.

Not only Taj has exposed his weak self and his lack of integrity and true management skills, his arrogance and looking down on people are something that the Iranians have experienced for the first time from this man. The industrialist from Esfahan who comes from a rich family loyal to the regime has truly uncovered his mask.