Tag: ALi Parvin

Team Melli is to play Bulgaria in a friendly international.

For the upcoming FIFA Day, the FFIRI has agreed terms with its Bulgarian counterpart to arrange a friendly game between Iran and Bulgaria in Sofia.

According to Mehdi Mohammad Nabi. the secretary general of the FFIRI who is also the Team Melli manager, the game will be held in Bulgaria and the federation is actively seeking another opponent in that period in order for Team Melli to fully benefit from FIFA Day international break.

Bulgaria is ranked 71 in the FIFA World ranking while Iran is second in Asia and 22nd in the world, 49 rank ahead of its rival.

The two teams met once in Tehran as part of Team Melli’s preparation for its first FIFA World Cup appearance in Argentine. That match ended in a 1-1 draw in front of 65,000 fans with Ali Parvin equalizing through a spot kick after Bulgaria took the lead in the first half.


Nasser HEJAZI : Hasan NAYEBAGHA (46′ Behtash FARIBA), Andranik ESKANDARIAN, Hassan NAZARI,
Mohammadreza ADELKHANI (75′ Iraj DANAEIFARD); Hassan ROWSHAN (56′ Hossein FARAKI),Ghafour JAHANI

From that team, Mohammad Reza Adelkhani failed to make the squad to Argentina after suffering an injury at home.

AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 review

The draw for the 18th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Asia organized by AFC was held hours ago in Doha, Qatar.

The Main football championship in Asia is delayed by over a year due to a combination of AFC short-sightedness and the unreliability of the Chinese authorities. China was supposed to hold its second AFC Asian Cup tournament after the successful one in 2004 but a series of events and circumstances surrounding COVID lockdown in China has meant that the most prestigious tournament of the continent was not going to be held in China. Qatar, as reliable as ever, and beaming from the fresh success of golding the biggest tournament in the World, FIFA World Cup 2022 came to the rescue.

Parviz Ghaleechkhani lifts the Asian Cup for the third time in Tehran 1976.


The draw ceremony was held with the coaches of all teams present. Amir Ghalenoei is experiencing his second presence in the AFC Asian Cup since his lone appearance in Malaysia back in 2007. Ghalenoei hops for a much more successful tournament this time to compensate for the bitter failure in Malaysia. Iran has failed to lift the trophy since it won it three times in a row in 1968, 1972, and 1976., Also present was the ever-familiar face of Carlos Queiroz who failed to lift the trophy with Iran in two attempts in 2015 Australia and 2019 UAE. This time the Portuguese coach will try with Qatar who are now the defending champions.

However, Ghalenoei’s mission is far from easy as his biggest challenge remains in dealing with an aging team left by Queiroz. Iran was the oldest team in the last World Cup.

In Group C, Iran is joined by familiar opponents in UAE, Hong Kong, and Palestine. This is on paper at least. one of the easiest groups of the Asian Cup for Iran in recent tournaments. None of the three teams have managed to defeat Iran in an official competition, although the UAE managed a win in Abudhabi in a friendly 26 years ago in September 1997.

UAE 18 14 3 1 26 4 +22
HONG KONG 6 6 0 0 14 1 13
PALESTINE 6 3 3 0 16 4 +12
  30 23 6 1 56 9 +47

Barring a disaster, there is little doubt that Team Melli will make it through to the knockout stages that Iran has always managed to qualify to expect in Japan back in 1992. The problem starts at later stages with stronger opposition. Iran will remain one of the top contenders for the title with Japan remaining the favorite, followed by Australia and South Korea.

Ali Parvin lifted Asian Cup in 1976 with Hassan Rowshan

Despite the games not starting until December, Ghalenoei might consider that as not adequate time to create a strong team that can challenge East Asians. Such is football nowadays, that preparation times for national teams are quite limited specifically for those national teams that have players playing abroad in Europe. There is no excuse for Team Melli as there are teams in worse conditions than them so that needs to be addressed and not to be used as an excuse. A major big challenge with Ghalenoei, however,  is the administration.

The FFIRI is not exactly a beacon of outstanding management nor is it even a proper organization ruled by processes and planning. It is run by a group of ill-qualified personnel placed there based on their allegiance rather than competency. and if Ghalenoei needs to get things done, there will have to be a lot of personal effort and sacrifices as this football federation is unreliable and incompetent as ever. Last time over, Ghalenoi was more frustrated with the organization than anything else which lead to his early resignation from his post after the quarter-final elimination in Kuala Lumpur in 2007. Perhaps, this time over, his diplomacy, experience, patience, and older wiser age will make him much more capable to handle the difficulties and hardships. Perhaps this coach after so many failed attempts by his predecessors,  can fulfill a mission that has eluded this soccer-mad nation for 47 years.

Mohajerani “Decision to keep Skocic was logical and rational”

The Iranian football coaching legend and former coach of Team Melli said that the Football Federation has delivered the best decision by keeping Dragan Skocic in his post. “The federation’s decision to keep Skocic was logical and rational”

Heshmat Mohajerani, who is the first coach ever to succeed in qualifying Iran to the World Cup back in 1978 commented on the draw for the third round by saying “If the Asian Confederation had given us the power to draw lots, we could not have done a better job in our own favor.”

He jokingly added, “All we could have done was to say, if you like, take Korea Rep out of the group and replace it with India or Pakistan.”

He continued: “There will be not much to discuss regarding our group rivals because except for Korea, all our opponents are in West Asia and these teams have played with us many times in the last few years and have lost to us mentally before the game. Our football history has shown that we are superior to these teams. In the other group, only Saudi Arabia and Oman are from West Asia, and that group is much more difficult than this Iran group.”

Mohajerani, the head coach of Team Melli when Iran lifted the Asian Cup for the third time in 1976 was asked about the FFIRI decision on continuing with the current coach Skocic: “The federation’s decision to keep Skocic was logical and rational because we could not make a change in such a short time. In the previous games of the national team, we saw that the coaches noticed Iran’s weakness in the defensive line. All we need is calm, and we have to play one or two preparation matches with a strong team and an average team, and examine our strengths and weaknesses.”

He added: “We touched on our problems in the Manama Games and we know the situation of the national team. To solve those problems, we have to hold preparatory games and short-term camps. The third qualifying round of the World Cup is easier than the second round, and God willing, we can qualify for the World Cup.

Mohajerani and Team Melli Captain Ali Parvin

Down memory lane: Bitter defeats of World Cup 1994 qualifiers

Iran’s football history is full of glories and honors almost all of it was in the pre-revolution era. Achievements such as winning the Asian Cup three times in a row have never been repeated by any team thus far.

The beginning of those glories started way back in 1964 when Iran made it to the Olympics Games Tokyo. In 1966 a younger Team Melli won the silver medal of the Asian Games in Bangkok, while at home, Iran won its first-ever Asian title when Hassan Habibi lifted the trophy in Amjadieh after they defeated Israel 2-1.

That was the beginning of the golden age of Iranian football in 1968. In 1972 Iran successfully defended its Asian Cup title in Thailand while the same year, it qualified for the Olympic Games in Munich. Iran won the Asian Games football gold medal for the first time in 1974. Two years later 1976 was another glory year for Team Melli with double achievements, winning the Asian Cup for the third time and qualifying for the Montreal Olympics. Iran also made it to the quarter-finals for the first time.

Team Melli led by the legendary Iranian coach Heshmat Mohajerani qualified for the Argentina World Cup in 1978. It was the perfect icing on the cake for a decade of glorious years of football. Then came the revolution and political upheaval that disrupted the whole society and disturbed the exceptional progress of Iran’s football. The glory days were never to come back.

However, twelve years into the revolution with Team Melli completely devoid of any success, Ali Parvin lead a young side to win the Asian Games 1990 gold medal. It was hoped that this was the omen and the glory days are surely coming back.

While Team Melli struggled for success, there were still some good moments to be proud of the team and a few bad moments. There were some bitter defeats during the 1990s however, one particular period is considered by many as the worst performance of Team Melli ever.

This happened at the Asian Zone equalization for the FIFA World Cup 1994.

in October 1993, the qualification matches for FIFA World Cup USA 1994  were held in Doha, Qatar. Iran, while missing several key players such as Kermani Moghadam, Farshad Pious, and Mojtaba Moharrami due to suspension and Ahmad Abedzadeh due to injury headed to Doha. The squad was lead by Ali Parvin but internal politics and wide disputes prevented the team to properly prepare for those qualifications rounds. The team did not have and friendly preparation matches and the camp was disrupted by internal disagreements.

The result of an ill-prepared team marred by dispute and disharmony was exposed quite early in the competition when Team Melli was beaten comprehensively by South Korea 3-0.

The aftermath of this heavy defeat disrupted the squad even more and its effect also lead to calls for change in Iran’s coaching team, back home. is loss had very bad consequences for Iran’s football, According to some squad members, after this game in the locker room and later at a hotel where the team was accommodated there were many disputes between the players and the coaches and it escalated to the point that some players wanted to leave the camp.

The federation officials came to the rescue and with a mixture of promises and threats, they managed to cool the situation until these qualifiers are concluded.

In the second game, Iran defeated Japan 2-1, to ease the pressure on Parvin. The third game was crucial for Iran who needed a win to stay in the competition for a place in the World Cup. They were facing Iraq. Despite a hard-fought game the match ended with Iraq winning 2-1.

In the fourth match, another good win against North Korea 2-1 boosted the morale of the squad ahead of the final game against Saudi Arabia.

That match was a game-changer in Iran’s football history. Team Melli, clearly lacking a proper game plan and mostly depending on direct football, lost in a seven-goal thriller. It was clear that the team was commanded to go for it and score as many goals, leaving the defense exposed and in the process conceding 4 goals.  Iran lost 4-3 to Saudi Arabia, the team was eliminated from the World Cup and failed to achieve what the coaching staff promised while it was ranked fifth among 6 countries.

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Saudi Arabia 7 5 2 3 0 8 6 2
 South Korea 6 5 2 2 1 9 4 5
 Japan 6 5 2 2 1 7 4 3
 Iraq 5 5 1 3 1 9 9 0
 Iran 4 5 2 0 3 8 11 -3
 North Korea 2 5 1 0 4 5 12 -7

Saudi Arabia took first place with its 4-3 victory over Iran. Japan and South Korea were even on points, but South Korea held the goal difference advantage after the 3-goal victory over North Korea and won the tiebreaker.

After the return of Team Melli to Tehran, Parvin was the target of the wrath of the fans. It all started from Mehrabad airport where mobs shouted profanity and accusation of treason and it continued all the way to his home, despite police protection. The protests against him did not stop either as they continued wherever he went.

Parvin had warned many times in the months before the qualifiers in Qatar that the national team had problems (problems with the preparation game, players, finances, etc.). However, those words were of very little use as after a few days, the whole of Team Melli coaching staff including Head Coach Ali Parvin, Nasser Ebrahimi, Amir haj-Rezaei Kumasi, and Mohammad Maeli-Kohan, were fired.

That was not the end of that either. As the consequences of the defeat in Qatar continued until Safizadeh, the president of the Football Federation, and Hassan Ghafouri Fard, the head of the Physical Education Organization, were also relieved from their duties as they were singled out as accountable for these bad results.

Hamid Estili appointment as Coach of Omid Team, will he be any good?

After the resignation of Farhad Majidi, it seems that FFIRI had no real choice but to appoint the Team manager, Hamid Estili as his replacement. The former Persepolis player also picked his former teammates Reza Shahroodi and Alireza Emamifar as his assistants.

During the short tenure of Farhad Majidi at the helm of Omid’s team, Omid Namazi and Farshad Majedi were appointed as his assistants. It is not clear if they are is still or will remain as part of the coaching staff as neither have any Persepolis affiliation that seems to be the level of requirement in Omid team coaching structure with Estili in charge.

As such, the Omid team has turned into The red of Perspolis after the departure of the Blues of Esteghlal to prove once again that Iran’s football will have an extreme affinity with the bipolar and partisan system.

At Omid team the status quo remains, meaning the same old chaos, with partisan, Favoritism, nepotism and partiality based upon being part of a favoured group, rather than job performance or competency being the essence.

Estili has more experience than Majidi but his coaching career has been full of failures and turmoil. In reality, he is not much of an improvement on Majidi.


Estili Coaching Career

Estili was appointed as an assistant by Ali Parvin in Persepolis in 2004. A few months after Arie Haan replaced Parvin, he sacked Estili. In August 2006, when Mustafa Denizli was signed as the head coach, Estili returned to his former post. On 13th January 2007, during the 2006–07 mid-season break, Estili was sacked again, this time by Denizli.

Denizli later stated that “It would be better for him (Estili) to take some professional trainings”

For the 3rd time, Estili returned to his beloved club as the assistant to Afshin Ghotbi, in the IPL 2007/08 season. However, with a lot of tension between the two coaches over team selection, players, and other decisions it was foreseen that one of them will have to leave Perspolis at the end of the season. Ghotbi left and Estili was touted as the new Perspolis Manager and Head Coach.
However, when Ghotbi’s returned back, Estili left Perspolis.

in summer of 2009 Steel Azin appointed out of work Estili as head coach. Despite having a star-studded team with players such as s Ali Karimi, Mahdavikia, Kaebi, Fereydoon Zandi, Shapourzadeh and Vahedi Nikbakht, Estili failed in the Hazfi Cup and was nowhere near the championship title.

He was sacked by Estil Azin on 19 April 2010

Next station was Shahin Bushehr where he was appointed on 1 June 2010. He lasted less than 10 months as he was fired on 4 April 2011 while Shahin was in 17th place out of 18, achieving 16 points in 18 matches

On 21 June 2011, Estili was back in Persepolis again as a Head coach but after a series of disappointing results and Persepolis fans disapproval of his appointment, he resigned his post on 9th Dec. 2011 after only 6 months at the helm.

From then on, Estili’s reputation as a Head Coach was tarnished.

Critics say that Estili relies more on influences, comradeship and nepotism to cover his technical weakness and poor tactics on the field. He was a divisive influence as an assistant coach bad-mouthing the head coach in the hope of taking their places.  He caused disagreement and hostility between players to serve his own interest. It was not a successful strategy as it leads to him being sacked by 3 different coaches. While as Head Coach, his poor delivery, suspect decision-making, poor technical ability, and lack of quality were exposed at the teams he managed.

Such as shame for the player who is famous for his goal against the United States in the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

Former Team Melli defender Jafar Kashani, passes away.

Jafar Kashani , the former Team Melli defender of the golden era of Team Melli has died in Tehran on Wednesday.

After a long struggle with illness, Kashani finally succumbed in a Tehran hospital.

Jafar Kashani, one of the player discovered by the famous Dr.Abbas Ekrami, Shahin F.C.’s founder when he was only 16. After Shahin’s dissolution, Kashani joined Persepolis F.C. and played until 1974 when he was captain. With Team Melli , Kashani made his debut against Hong Kong on 10th May 1968 in the AFC Asian Cup tournament which Iran won for the first time. Kashani went on to win the AFC Asian Cup 1972 title for the second time in Thailand. He also was amemebrt of Team Melli in the 1976 Montreal Olympics followed by winning the 1974 Asian Games gold Medal title before he retired.

Kashani teammates in the golden age of Iran’s football include the late Homayoun Behzadi, Ebrahim Ashtiani, Aziz Asli, Parviz Ghleechkhani, Hossein Kalani, Mostafa Arab, Nasser Hejazi, Gholamhossein Mazloomi and Ali Parvin amongst others.

Kashani played at the centre of defence for 33 times. He was as a rock-solid defender and was amongst the very dedicated players who always gave his best.

After his retirement, Kashani was away from football for some time but was involved in the Management of Persepolis club in the last few years.

May he rest in Peace.

Omid Team to start the long road to Olympics in earnest.

Iran will kickstart their 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers campaign from 22nd March in Tehran. The team, known as Omid Team, is under the guidance of the seasoned Croat coach Zlatko Krancjar and will lock horns against Turkmenistan in their first match before crossing swords against Yemen two days later and finally, their strongest rival, Iraq on 26th March.

Omid team held has held a series of training sessions and camps including playing friendly games against Syria and Jordan prior to the competition. Omid Team also played in a competition in Qatar where three U-23 teams took part. Iran won the title of that round ribbon tournament.

Tehran is hosting Group C of 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers

 In preparation for the matches starting tomorrow, a post-match conference was held at the National Iranian National Football Center’s conference hall where all the coaches expressed optimism for their team’s chances while Iraqi and Yemeni coach criticized the AFC plans for the Olympic Games qualifiers.

At the beginning of the press conference, Turkmen coach Bayram Dordayiev said: “I know Iran’s football quite well, since I worked in Iran for several years. Iran’s football has a a colorful history and has produced players such as Ali Daei, Mehdi Mahdavikia and Ali Parvin in its history. Football is strong and powerful in this country. Iran is strong in the Olympics age group and has a youth team that plays well in defense and attack. We have a tough group. Iran and Iraq are powerful teams and we have information about them. Ultimately, the result of any match cannot be predicted but only the playing field will dictate the victorious and superior team.”

Iran’s coach, Zlatko Krancjar, said: “First of all, I wish to congratulate everyone on the occasion of the Persian New Year and welcome my colleagues from Turkmenistan, Yemen and Iraq to Iran. Apart from Iraq, we do not know adequate knowledge about the other two teams, we only know the Iraqi team and played two games and hopefully in the coming days we will be able to get the necessary knowledge of the other competitors.”

About the final list of 23 players in the squad, Head coach or Iran U23 team, Krancjar said  “We should announce the list beforehand. We set up this list, and the promise is that it can deliver our objectives. Some clubs did not cooperate with the team by holding their players.  Apart from the damage that was done because of that, there is no particular problem in the team. We were looking at the legionnaires, but the domestic players were better and more prepared”

Referring to the use of players outside the Iranian league, he said ” We have Reza Shekari from Russia but  we do not have Younis Delphi due to injury.”

Iraqi coach Abdul Ghani Shahid said: “We have great hopes to qualify. We succeeded in qualifying to the Rio Olympics in the last competition and hope we can repeat it again. Many think that Iraq and Iran will qualify from this group, but I believe the standards are too close to call. Asian Football Confederation has made a strange plan for the tournament. The AFC, which always pays particular attention to the quality of the players and the quality of the tournament, holds tournaments in tandem, and this affects the quality of the work. We did not use adult players in the tournament because they were engaged in the AFC Asian Cup with the senior team and subsequently entered this competition without them by using younger players.”

Yemeni coach Sammy Na’ash also spoke at the press conference “We are in a tough and strong group. The two teams from Iraq and Iran have a special lead in this group. The AFC’s planning for this tournament is not desirable, and competitions are held with the least rest for the players. We started the preparation program very late and we encountered a lot of problems, but we are doing our best to produce a good and decent performance.”

Team Melli Head Coach

Queiroz’S cryptic message!

Carlos Queiroz has sent a cryptic message to the Iranian football community, with a motive that is far from prudent and borders a malicious act!

In a message published on the official FFIRI website, Queiroz praised coaches such Amir Ghalenoei, Javad Nekounam and Mehdi Mahdavikia.

In his message, he said “Football is a game were people have different opinions, and we , the football family, learn that in this game, whether we agree or disapprove on some points, we still have respect for each other. I always admire the courage and valor of my fellow professionals when they rise up and fight for the principles and values that protect the interests of football. For example: Ali Parvin, Ali Daei, Amir Ghalenoei, Winfred Shaefar, Javad Nekounam, Yahya Golmohammadi, Hossein Kalani, Mehdi Mahdavi Kia and Vahid Hashemian. If there is a name in this list of “high courage and personality” that I have missed, accept my apology.

There is very little doubt in any one close to the affairs of Iranian football that this is another dig by Queiroz against his nemesis Branko Ivankovic. However, the timing of this message seems to be strange, especially when Queiroz and his squad are less than a month from the AFC Asian Cup. Queiroz has always demanded peace and tranquil atmosphere during his preparations with Team Melli but such message is not exactly what he preaches, and clearly intended to score a point in his long running dispute with the Croat coach of Persepolis.

Persepolis club with its influence and popularity is fundamental in the support and success of Team Melli. With its massive fan base and supporters across Iran and beyond, the majority of whom have clearly sided with their coach and shouted slogans against Queiroz, this message and exclusion of Branko Ibankovic name from the list of dedicated servant of Iranian football, is ill-timed.

The Croat coach who has served as assistant coach to Miroslav “Ćiro” Blažević and then  head coach of Team Melli twice, taking Iran to the World Cup in 2006, winning the Asian Games Gold medal and winning third place in Asian Cup 2004 in China, he remains one of the most decorated coaches of Team melli. Branko Ivankoivic is undoubtedly a candidate of any such list

Ramin Rezaeian, finally plays in Europe.

Ramin Rezaeian, a 27-year-old Iranian right-back who had been tested two weeks ago at an internship in the Netherlands, signed a two-year contract with KV Ostend, the Jupiler Pro League

The ex-Persepolis player, who won the Persian Gulf Pro League title, has convinced Yves Vanderhaeghe and the sports team of his value. Rezaeian  has proven that he is also capable of evolving on the flanks .

Rezaeian faced uncertainty and desperation when his Croat coach Branko Ivankovic insisted that he has no place in his team and will not accept him playing for the club under any circumstances. The action by Branko was due to Rezaeian’s poor attitude and professionalism. Despite efforts from a host of people including assurance by Ali Parvin that Rezaeian will be playing in Persepolis this season, The Croat stood firm and Parvin promise was not fulfilled

Rezaeian who was a major part of  Team Melli campaign (19 caps, 2 goals), already guaranteed to participate in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia,  is very popular player in Iran. The number of subscribers to his Instagram account is even more than one million. It is this popularity that has gone to his head and nearly spoiled his career. KV Ostend, is the third team that has inquired about him and gave him trials.


Queiroz is targeted by Mayeli-Kohan’s wrath.

A recent interview with Mohammad Mayeli-Kohan , until recently , the Technical Director of Omid Team (Iran’s U23) created a lot of discussion and controversy in football circles.

Mayeli-Kohan is one of those divisive characters that is either loved or hated.  He is known for being hostile to anything that he does not agree with. There is no restraint or moderation to what he thinks and say. The former Team Melli coach’s wild accusations and slanderous claims have put him in trouble with the law. He was eventually sentenced to prison by a court which found him defamatory in several cases and subsequently Mayeli-Kohan was incarcerated. It was only because of the plaintiff mercy and pardon that Mayeli-Kohan was released after serving a few days of his sentence.  It was Ali Daei who was sued Mayeli-Kohan in that libel case. However, despite that brief imprisonment, Mayeli-Kohan is neither repentant nor plans to calm down his radical and harsh criticism of whatever he does not like.

 Appointed to qualify Iran to the Olympics

Despite questionable attitude and background in addition to hostilities he managed to accumulate with many sport personalities and organizations, Ali Kaffashian is his bizarre wisdom accepted Habib Kashani and Mohammad Khakpour’s recommendation to include Mayeli-Kohan in the Omid Team squad as Technical Director.

The rest is history. Omid team did not qualify despite huge budget and long preparation, not to mention stopping the league for the team. The media had its day by much criticism mostly directed at the top of Omid team leadership and coaching. Most found Khakpour inexperience as the major reason for the team’s failure.

The interview

Mayeli-Kohan did not take those attacks on him and the rest of the team leadership lightly. In a recent interview with ISNA , Mayeli-Kohn fired back with a vengeance and did not munch his words. The Technical Director of Omid Team opened fire on all front accusing everyone and everybody but his indisputable and absolute target was none other than Carlos Queiroz and his suitors!

He accused the Portuguese head coach of Team Melli of being the main reason for Omid team’s exit by being an obstacle behind the scenes and working against them. He was overtly defensive of his own record with Omid team and apologized for the people for not succeeding to lead Iran to qualify for the Olympics games football competition, but he also accused the media of disgraceful bias in their critic of Omid team while nothing like that was directed at Queiroz after 5 years of failures, according to him, and siphoning the country’s money!

maylei Kohan in handcuffs

“He has not won any trophies, he has not won any titles, no gold medals not even a wooden medal, yet he is being revered by media and those who get benefits and paybacks because of him, while national coaches like me and Khakpour are being humiliated and ridiculed.” Mayeli-Kohan said in the interview.

The incensed Mayeli-Kohan remained unusually composed, but solidly defiant during the interview. When the reporter reminded him that Queiroz remains popular amongst the fans, he refuted such claim and claimed they are all being on some Queiroz backer payroll! He said these are the same fans that abused our icons such as Ali Parvin, Ali Daei, Ghalenoei and chanted profanities against them from the stands when the results were not going well.  They are driven by greed and who pays more.“

Logic dictates that the words of Mayeli-Kohan, which has become a dull routine, would be brushed under the carpet and very few will take any serious notice of his harsh words. Mayeli-Kohan is a known antagonist and a radical who is still a strong supporter of former disgraced President Ahmadinejad’s camp. However, this controversial interview, if that is the right expression, has shaken a few pillars in Iran’s football hierarchy. His unadulterated attack on Carlos Queiroz seems to have taken its toll, most noticeably by Carlos Queiroz.

Carlos Queiroz predicament.

Queiroz has been incognito since the last Team Melli match in 2015. He made a singular appearance in Doha during the Olympic qualifiers, to watch the progress of Omid team according to Kaffashian, but to conduct some private matters, according to Queiroz himself (take your pick). Carlos Queiroz seems to be the more accurate as he had no contact whatsoever with Omid Team camp during the qualifiers although he is known to have attended at least one match. In essence, there is no love lost between the two camps in any case.

On his brief return to Tehran, Queiroz realized that all promises that was given to him before leaving Iran by Kaffashian for improving the conditions of Team Melli, including official kit and training grounds quality, was nothing but vaporware. The conditions have even deteriorated. Queiroz is said to be seriously thinking of quitting once for all. Whether the verbal barrage by Mayeli-Kohan has made an impact will never be known, but it is know that he is always kept up-to-date with what is written about him in Iranian press. Mayeli-Kohan, despite being a colleague and working for the FFIRI has never been complimentary to him. This is nothing new although it was never so intense, personal and obvious.

The Portuguese coach is quite fond of playing this resignations game by using veiled threats or direct statements, this time however, sources close to him and Kaffashian seem to believe that he is more serious than ever. Kaffashian, although not a highly revered professional administrator or leader, has a good skills in negotiations and bargaining so he feels confident that he will be able to keep Queiroz at  least until the last two matches in the group in the World Cup qualifiers.

With Nowrooz approaching, it will be an interesting few weeks. Iran qualification to the next round of the FIFA World Cup 2018 is all but assured. With the present state of things, Queiroz is more than worried that he could lose the chance of qualifying with poor support and preparation of Team Melli. This attack on his character might create a toxic atmosphere with the fans and as such it might make his task even more difficult. As it is, the attendance for Team Melli matches in Azadi is one of the lowest in record. A few more people jumping on Mayeli-Kohan’s bandwagon will make life that much difficult for Queiroz.