Tag: AFC Asian U23 Championship

The never ending lies and decption of the officials!

While the Omid Team is in turmoil and the scheduled team training in FIFA Day was not held due to the pending administrative and contractual issues ( non-payment of coaches salaries and not finalizing and signing of the contracts) which lead to the cancellation of the Omid Training Camp, the president of the football federation FFIRI and the president of the National Olympic Committee denied all those facts and turned them upside down claiming that Omid Team is progressing well

The camp of the national Olympic football team (Omid) was supposed to be held under the supervision of Mehdi Mahdavikia from the 25th January to the 1st February, but this camp was never commenced due to lack of necessary planning by the Football Federation and non-conclusion of the national team coaches contracts including Mehdi Mahdavikia himself and his assistants!

However, Shahabuddin Azizi Khadem, president of the Football Federation FFIRI, and Seyed Reza Salehi Amiri, president of the National Olympic Committee NOC, as the team’s trustees, denied any wrongdoing, saying that the National Olympic team had no problems whatsoever!!. “The Omid team is doing its job according to plan. We participated in the Central Asian Games and will go to Uzbekistan. This federation is different from the ones before in that it has already started the preparation of Omid team for the Paris Olympics, which we have already done,” Azizi Khadem said. “It was not like that before. I hope the Omid national team gets better conditions. We have to go to Uzbekistan for the final of the Asian Championship in June. We hope Mahdavikia will start working soon again according to the plans.”

          • Mahdavikia pays his assistants wages from his own pocket.
          • The one-week training camp in Kish Isle was canceled 
          • Director of communication of Omid Team resigns.
          • Azizi-Khadem in full denial

A day before this statement, Salehi Amiri had said: “I am in contact with Azizi Khadem. Mahdavikia is also seriously pursuing and organizing, and I personally believe that the Omid team, given its capacity in the football community and its presence. The well-respected coach that this team has, we will shine in Hangzhou.”

A few hours later after Sazlehi-Amiri’s statement and assurance, that the media director of the Omid national team submitted his resignation,

Pointing to many problems in the national Olympic (Omid) team in a text he posted on his personal Instagram page, the director said  “the contracts of the head coach and assistant coaches of the Omid national team have not been signed even after about five months from initial agreement on the contents. This is what was supposed to happen after the recent meeting of the Board of Directors of the Football Federation, but has not been done yet, and this is only one of the aggravations and problems of the technical staff of the Iranian U-23 national team.

“The non-payment of players’ bonuses, the cancellation of the national team camps (which was supposed to be held on Kish Island with matches against foreign teams) as well as the uncertainty of the team’s manager and coaches are among the events that led to the cancellation of the team’s recent camp. On hearing the cancellation of the camp, the foreign coaches did not travel to Iran!”

The media director wrote in his message that “Mahdavikia paid the salaries of his three foreign assistants out of his own pocket so that the non-commitment and lack of obligation in the football federation would not take on an international dimension!”

“Mahdavi’s Assistants had participated in the Asian Under-23 qualifiers from September to November 2021 without any contract. In this turbulent situation that is not hidden from anyone,”

Azizi Khadem and Salehi Amiri, with their lack of honesty, sweet talk their way on how their respective organizations are determined to succeed in the Asian U23 Championship and the Asian Games with such confidence to the degree of promising the fans to finally end the spell of consecutive failures of over 40 years of Omid Team failure to qualify for the Olympics. It looks like they both believe that by turning the facts upside down and living in denial, no one notices the shortcomings and broken promises, disrespect for the contracts. While it seems like a standard operating procedure for preparing the Omid or the Iranian Olympics team, and after about half a century, professional planning, commitment, financial support needed for the success of this team is still lacking big time. Instead, lies, denials, deception, and delusion is still rife from those inept personnel running football and other sports affair in Iran.

Like the Persian proverb goes “It’s the same soup and the same bowl”!

Omid Team training is at full throttle.

Omid team is actively preparing for the crucial AFC U23 Championship 2020  by conducting constant practice sessions under the direction of Hamid Estili.

Today’s (Sunday) session which started at 9:30, Hamid Estili briefed the players on the objectives and details of today’s practice session. Then Mohammad Sharifi, Sina Zamiran and Mohammed Mohebbi left the group to conduct the fitness tests which all other players went undertook.

The training of the rest of the squad started with all members of the technical staff supervising the proceedings and giving the required tactical and technical advice.

This session which was carried out in the National Football Training Center included a light physical program. The next practice is scheduled for tonight at 9 pm.

Meanwhile, Omid Noorafkan and Mohammad Mohebbi (Sepahan) Reza Shekari and Mohammad Reza Azadi (Tractorsazi) Aref Aghasi and Mojtaba Najarian (Foolad Khuzestan) Ali Shojaei and Reza Dehghani (Nasiji Mazandaran) Ali Shahsavari and Mohammad KhodabandehLo (Peykan) and Sina Zamehran (Shar Khodro ) have joined the squad after their respective teams released them to Omid team.

Mohammad Mehdi Khani who plays for the Croatian side  NK Varaždin will also join the Omid (Olympic) squad on Monday.

“The initial list of Olympic team players, including 50 players, according to the AFC’s regulations. ” Hamid Estili said on the eve of the training camp’s inauguration. “After shortlisting the number to 30, the squad departs to  Qatar, where we will have an 8-day training camp and two friendly matches in Doha.”

“After returning to Tehran, we will announce the list of the final 23 players which form the Omid Team that will be competing in the AFC Asian Championship also the Olympic qualifiers scheduled to be held in Thailand. In some of the posts, we are still looking for the final option, such as the right-back, which was vacated due to the injury to  Aghajanpour and we are reviewing the names of 1 or 2 options to decide the final squad,” Estili added.

The coach of the Omid team once again called on the clubs to cooperate and assist with the team by saying: “Our plan during these 18 months of engagement was comprehensive. We tried to invite players for training or matches in FIFA days. We were aware of their special circumstances and situation, but at this juncture we expect the clubs to understand our situation too. Invited players will return to the clubs before the 16th week but after the end of the week it is necessary for the clubs to abandon their squads and allow our training to start. There are legal measures we can refer to, of course, but there should not be such issues among colleagues, and we need to all work in a friendly manner. I am sure my good colleagues at the clubs are on the side of the Omid team, preferring the national interest to everything else and helping us at this point.”

Farhad Majidi resigns as Omid Team coach.

Farhad Majidi, the Omid Team (Iran U-23) has resigned his post following a series of disputes with the FFIRI management that has led to moves to dismiss him from his post.

Majidi, whose appointment in place of the broadly experienced  Zlatko Kranjcar has raised more than a few eyebrows, has been promising that he will take Iran to the Olympics for the first time since 1976. However, a series of bad result, extensive media criticism, disapproval from senior coaches and former players, differences between him and the Omid Team Manager Hamid Estili and player’s discontent with his training methods, forced the rookie coach to resign before the federation shows him the door.

With no more than a few games as a caretaker coach of Esteghlal in his resume, the FFIRI in a moment of madness decided to give this mammoth task of qualifying for the Olympics Games to Majidi. While much more notable and experienced Iranian coaches turned down the job of coaching Omid Team, Farhad Majidi who was away from football after he hanged his boot, found it a golden opportunity to progress his own career in coaching without considering the complication and the difficulties of the task up ahead and without seriously addressing his own level of limited experience in coaching.

There were only two persons in the whole world that believed in Majidi’s ability to deliver, one of them is the person who approved his appointment and that would be Mehdi Taj and Farhad himself. The rest thought otherwise.

The mammoth task of qualifying to Tokyo 2020 Olympics became nearly impossible when Iran was grouped with defending Champions of the last two editions of the U-23 Asian championships, Uzbekistan and South Korea while China, a contender in their own rights, complete the group.

With Majidi gone, it is assumed that Omid Namazi will take the post on a temporary basis or continue all the way to the AFC Asian U23 Championship in Thailand in January 2020. That championship will also be the qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics Games 2020 football competition. The top three teams will qualify.

Namazi has good experience with age level teams and has been coaching United States U18 and U20 teams in addition to several other clubs in the states and Iran.

He was recently appointed to Omid Team as an assistant to Farhad Majidi in a face-saving exercise by the federation after soon realizing that their gamble with Rookie Majidi s not working.  Omid Namazi also worked as an assistant to Carlos Queiroz in Team Melli.

Omid team draws with Iraq, qualification is still on hold!

Iran Omid Team drew its final group C game against Iraq, which means that the Iraqi team has qualified as top of the group with 7 points, same as Iran , but better goal difference. The match ended goal-less.

The Iranian needed to win to be assured of a place in the Final rounds of AFC Asian U23 Championship in Thailand. Iran must wait for the results of other matches in the qualifiers. The four best 2nd placed teams will also qualify from the 11 groups to  the finals.

Iran’s supremacy in the first half was quite evident against a well-organized Iraq, especially in the first 10 minutes when Iran had two goal scoring opportunities. Although in the remaining time of the first half , the match was more balanced, but in the final minutes, Omid team intensified its pressure to score. However, the Iraqi goalkeeper Ali Kadhim was at his best and prevented Iranian players from threatening the goal. The Iraqi players, were satisfied with a draw which assured them qualification, started wasting time, but the referee from Singapore was not very alert to such tactics and failed to warn them

 Iran’s coach Zlatko Kranchar introduced Vahid Namdari and Mohammad Reza Azadi in the second half to give fresh force to the forward line. Like the first half, Iran only managed a few real scoring chances in this half. As the final minutes of the game approached, the pressure on Iran’s forwards to score also increased. Perhaps the best chance for Iran to score was wasted by Vahid Namdari on the 87th minute, from Muslimpour’s cross which missed the cross by inches.

At the final whistle , Iraqi players celebrated their qualification while the Iranian were left to drift and ask questions where it all went wrong.

The standard and style of Iran Omid Team does not induce much confidence. Direct football with aerial balls was the name of the game for Omid Team in all the 3 matches. Zlatko Kranjcar has not introduced anything of value in this team. It is certainly no eye candy. The way this Omid Team is playing truly does not require a coach. If by miracle, Iran does qualify, the first question that must be addressed is the coaching and leadership of this team. There is a long road and plenty of work for this Omid team to succeed as the way this team is playing is no where near championship pedigree..

Iran Omid Team Line up vs Iraq

Meraj Esmaili ; Omid Noorafkan, Alireza Artah, Mohammad Moslemipour, Hossein Saki, Sina Zamehran, Mehdi Mehdi Khani (Abolfazl Razzaghpour), Reza Shekari (Vahid Namdari ), Mehdi Ghaedi, Reza Jabereih and Amir Roustai (Mohammad Reza Azadi).