Tag: Austria

Sun reporter told to wear hijab to interview Iran’s football team… in Austria

Stunned Isabelle Barker was told she could only speak to the international squad players and manager Carlos Queiroz if her hair was covered.

Stunned Isabelle Barker was told she could only speak to the international squad players and manager Carlos Queiroz if her hair was covered

Furious Isabelle considered staging a one-woman protest outside the team’s hotel in Vienna but, like a true professional, got on with her job. The hijab demand came from the squad’s security staff ahead of a press conference at the hotel yesterday, the day after Iran beat Uruguay 1-0 in a friendly.

Public protests have been taking place in Iran after police allegedly beat a woman to death for wearing a headscarf the wrong way.

Isabelle said she tried to buy a hijab after the order but the shops had shut so she made one from a T-shirt. She said of the ultimatum: “I couldn’t believe what was being asked of me and I even thought about staging my own protest. But I had a job to do so my only real option was to comply.”

England play Iran in their World Cup opener in Qatar on November 21.

Isabelle stressed that the hijab order had not come from the team’s press officer, former Man United coach Queiroz or any of the players, who include Omid Ebrahimi, “all of whom were friendly and cooperative”.

The Iranian Football Federation had earlier barred all media from reporting on ­Friday’s game before making a U-turn. Tensions ignited during the match when two fans were ejected from the NV Arena for unveiling an anti-Iran sign.

Why it was so hard to see Iran vs. Uruguay, a World Cup warm-up game in Austria

Mark Ogden
Senior Writer, ESPN FC

ST. POLTEN, Austria — It was supposed to be just a game, nothing more than a World Cup warm-up friendly between Iran and Uruguay in a sleepy town in rural Austria. Perhaps it’d be a perfect opportunity to scout an Iranian team that will face the United States and England in Group B at Qatar 2022 in two months’ time. But the reality turned out to be something different.

Instead of a regular international fixture, it became an event at the heart of the growing campaign of unrest in Iran surrounding women’s rights, and a focal point for a young population demanding change. The game was scheduled to be played behind closed doors — though fans from both teams were surprisingly allowed into the stadium shortly before kickoff — at the insistence of the Iranian government. They were reportedly fearful of domestic issues being given a public platform in Europe, to the extent that phone calls and WhatsApp messages to the Iranian Football Federation (IFF), simply seeking information on the team schedule and access to the coach, Carlos Queiroz, went unanswered.

The silence also extended to ESPN and other media outlets being told 24 hours before the game that the IFF, under pressure from the regime in Tehran, would not allow journalists into St. Polten’s NV Arena to report on the fixture. “To our greatest discomfort,” the match organizers said via email, “we have to inform you that the entrance to the match Iran vs Uruguay has been denied. This decision was made by the Iranian FA.”

It required the intervention of FIFA, and mediation by Europe-based Iranian journalists, to cause a U-turn on the day of the game. A suggestion that media could attend if they handed over mobile phones before entering the stadium did not materialize, but it was made clear that no interviews with players or Queiroz would be allowed before or after the game.

While the urbane Queiroz was welcoming and cooperative with media at the Pyramide Hotel on the outskirts of Vienna on the day before the game, there was a palpable sense of anxiety and paranoia among the Iranian officials who tried to persuade the former Real Madrid coach to cancel his briefing. Given that the football team is one of the few visible elements of a restricted society in Iran — they face England, the U.S., and Wales in the World Cup this winter — every element of team coverage, particularly during such volatile political times, is guaranteed to attract close scrutiny from the regime in Tehran.

One Austria-based Iran fan smiled and said, “Everything is fine and totally normal in Iran,” when asked about the possibility of protest from those who had turned out to cheer the arrival of the team bus. Moments later, he returned alone to say he had family in Iran and was too worried to speak to western media, but that “even in small cities, people are protesting right now.”

When fans were inexplicably allowed into the game, two spectators were marched out of the ground by police midway through the first half of Iran’s 1-0 win. They had a protest placard in support of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman who died in police custody in Iran last week after being charged with wearing a headscarf improperly.

In the end, a game intended to be about assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a team that will compete in Qatar this November turned out to be the very definition of a political football.

Team Melli match vs Russia called off.

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Mehdi Mohammad Nabi, a member of the Iran Football Federation’s Board of Directors, said that a planned friendly match with Russia has been called off.

The head coach of the Russian national football team Valery Karpin had said that his team will play Iran in a friendly match in Tehran or Doha on November 16.

“We cannot play Russia on November 16 because we will travel to Doha on November 11. Team Melli will play a friendly match with one of the Persian Gulf countries in Doha,” Nabi said.

Iran will meet Uruguay in a friendly in Austria on Friday and play Senegal four days later.

Team Melli Austrian camp news

 – Legionnaires: Almost all the legionnaires’ players joined the camp in Vienna as Team Melli continues its preparation for the matches against Uruguay and Senegal.

 – New Arrivals: According to the FFIRI website, Ansarifard, Taremi and Jahanbaksh were the latest to join the camp. There is still no news about Noorafkan and Nourollahi yet. Saman Ghoddos and Sadegh Moharrami have been confirmed in Vienna.

 – The Plot is complete!  Interestingly, the three players were the main plotters against Dragan Skočić, and their influence helped bring back Queiroz to Team Melli once again. The Portuguese coach naturally reserved a warm welcome for the major trio plotters upon their arrival t the hotel.

 – Kanani’s never-ending problems: The disciplinary issue of Hossein Kananizadegan is still lingering as reports that he is still suspended by the FFIRI Disciplinary Committee have surfaced. There was no definite communication on this issue from FFIRI although ISNA has reported that his suspension is still ongoing and applies for both the matches. This will be very disappointing for Queiroz who counts on solid defense and would like to see his players perform against the likes of Saido Mane, Darwin Nunez, and Luis Suárez.

 – Physical Training: Queiroz is making the players work hard in the gym. His philosophy centers around tough and fit players and the hard work of physical training are one method of many in getting the player’s physical conditions to what is required at the highest level of competition.

 – Not again, Carlos! Queiroz is back to his old silly tricks again! No surprises here either. The Team Melli coach wants the match against Uruguay to be played behind closed doors and obviously not televised!!  This is a repeat of many attempts when he was last with Team Melli. Whatever secret weapons he has or had did not work for Team Melli in the 8 years of his reign but certainly, his secret training plans and strategies did not serve Colombia or Egypt either, why is he insisting on such measures is an act of selfishness. He is depriving the fans of watching a match of their beloved team playing against two of the best Teams in Latin America and Africa and that is an injustice to the fans. Not that he cares a lot about it.

 – Missing Man:  One key player of Senegal who will be missing against Team Melli is Keita Balde. The winger was banned for breaking doping protocols when he was playing for the Italian side Cagliari. Balde, currently with Russian outfit Spartak Moscow will also miss the FIFA World Cup.

Senegal stars: Kalidou Koulibaly of Chelsea and Bayern Munich’s Saido Mane arguably the two top players in the Senegalese team will be available and definite starters against Iran barring any injuries. The two players have not enjoyed a good season start with their respective new teams.

 – Final List: with 26 players allowed in this edition of the World Cup, it seems that the current squad is the final list that will be traveling to Qatar for the World Cup. Queiroz does not have the luxury of time and these two matches in Austria are quite important to him for the assessment of the players. He has stuck to his old players and will not pick any new talents or future stars for his trip to Doha.

 – Injury list:  All the players seem to have exercised and trained normally. Vahid Amiri, who was on a six-month lay off still remains a doubt and is in a tight race to regain full fitness both physical and match fitness too.

Quiroz names Team Melli list for Austria camp.

Queiroz announced his final list of players who will be forming the squad for the Training Camp in Austria including two international friendlies versus Uruguay and Senegal.

Alireza Beiranvand, Amir Abedzadeh, Hossein Hosseini, Payam Niazmand

Ramin Rezaeian, Sadegh Moharammi, Saleh Hardani, Hossein Kanaanizadegan, Majid Hosseini, Morteza Pouraliganji, Shojaa Khalilzadeh, Abolfazl Jalali, Milad Mohammadi, Omid Noorafkan

Omid Ebrahimi , Saeed Ezzatollahi, Milad Sarlak, Saman Ghoddos, Ahmad Noorollahi, Ehsan Haj Safi, Vahid Amiri.

Ali Gholizadeh, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Mehdi Torabi, Mehdi Taremi, Karim Ansarifard, Sardar Azmoun.

As expected, Queiroz who was away from Iranian football since early 2019, elected to pick his old guards to take to Qatar. Players like Ansarifard, whose total playing time in the last few months did not exceed 90 minutes are included as are Ghoddos and Ezzarotlahi both fringe players in their teams. Vahid Amiri, a long-time senior player who has been on the injury list was also picked although it is reported that he is not quite ready and short of match practice. Amiri has been given special recovery training.

Queiroz not surprisingly picked another of his old guards, Rezaeian for the right back position. There was a surprise in naming Abolfazl Jalali a player who is not familiar to him, but the biggest surprise was his inclusion of Shojaá Khalilzadeh.

Team Melli’s central defense in the qualifiers, consisting of Khalilzadeh and Kananizadeh was formidable and had a large role to play in the qualification. However, Queiroz and Khalilzadeh have not been on good terms. Some observers were predicting that Shojaá will be ignored by the Portuguese. Perhaps, Queiroz’s peers advised him against excluding Khalikzadeh.

The full state of Hull City’s injury curse revealed as Allahyar undergoes surgery

Shota Arveladze has revealed Iranian international Allahyar Sayyadmanesh is likely to miss the next month of action at least, after pulling up with a hamstring problem in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Burnley.

The youngster has impressed in the early weeks of the Championship season, but his enforced absence will be a real blow to the Tigers, who are already without key performers like Jean Michael Seri, Ryan Longman, Brandon Fleming, and Greg Docherty.

The prognosis on Allahyar Sayyadmanesh’s torn hamstring is less positive, however, with the Iranian striker undergoing surgery in London earlier this week. Allahyar is likely to be sidelined for around three months putting his hopes of appearing at this winter’s World Cup in Qatar in serious jeopardy.

This bad news comes at the time that Allahyar was one of the certain candidates for inclusion in the squad for Qatar. Iran will be playing two friendly games against Uruguay and Senegal in Austria that Sayyadmanesh will definitely miss.

Skočić starts the squad preparation ahead of the trip to Austria.

Team Melli will be playing a practice match in September against one of the league teams while in its camp in September before the legionnaires join for FIFA daybreak.

According to reports, Dragan Skočić attended matches of the Iranian Premier League in the past few days and watched two matches in Tehran and Isfahan. After returning to Tehran, he had a meeting with the officials of the Football Federation and will leave for Qatar today for the training camp arrangements. During this trip, he will watch Qatar Star League QSL matches involving Iranian players. He will also meet with the Legionnaires to discuss plans. Skocic also intends to meet with the players’ club coaches.

In his recent meeting with the officials of the Football Federation, Skocic requested to hold a friendly meeting before the FIFA window for international games. According to the schedule, Team Melli team camp will start on the 12th of September with domestic players in Tehran. According to Osulli, the FFIRI spokesperson, Skocic, did not specifically name the opposition club and whether it is domestic or foreign for the practice match. but it is possible that an Iranian team that has not been selected yet, will face the national team. As a result, Team Melli will hold a friendly match between September 12th to 18th before the squad flies to Austria. Also, necessary measures are being taken to hold two friendly matches in Austria. According to Usoli, the contract with one of the rivals of the national team (Uruguay) has been signed by both sides, but the contract for the second game has been finalized. According to the officials of the Senegalese football federation and media, Iran’s second opponent will be Senegal, who will face Iran on 27th September 2022.

The match against Senegal has only been reported by Iranian media while the official Sengalese FF has not confirmed the meeting with Iran.

Iran vs Uruguay friendly match seems to be back!

After several failed attempts to arrange friendly matches in the much-expanded FIFA day in June, Iran’s national football team could not make the best use of the opportunity and could only manage one game against Algeria while setting up a few-week camp in Qatar. Team Melli finally played a game against the Algerian national team. Iran was supposed to play against Canada and also Ecuador, but these matches were canceled due to political pressure in Canada against Team Melli traveling to the North American country.

Iran’s Team Melli was offered to play against Uruguay in this country, but due to the long-distance, Iran’s head coach Dragan Skocic opposed that arrangement as it would have been a logistical nightmare for the squad. That match did not materialize either. Now, however, with only one more FIFA Day between September 19 and 27 before the World Cup, it seems that the Uruguay match is on again.

 According to “Baysan”, an Uruguayan reporter, Iran will meet Uruguay on September 23  in Austria

Uruguay will also play another match against the host of the World Cup, Qatar, on September 27 in Austria. It is not known whether the Iranian federation has arranged any other games in Austria besides the Uruguay match, which has yet to be confirmed by FFIRI.
With players such as Suarez, Darwin Núñez, Cavani Martín Cáceres ,and Lucas Torreira in the Uruguay squad, that match will be a tough test for Team Melli.

Next Team Melli camp on July without foreign-based players.

A 5 days training camp will be held by Team Melli in Tehran starting 10th July 2019.

According to reports, the Iranian national football team will set up camp outside of the allocated FIFA days. The objective of this particular training camp is to allow the Head coach and other Team Melli technical staff to invite local league players who have shown good potential but were never given the chance to join the squad.

In essence, Wilmots and his team are looking at other talented players who have not been tested in the national team or have not been used so far.  As the team’s camp is held outside FIFA days, the presence of legionnaires are not assured and hence only half of the players are expected to be in camp. However, all players invited from the Persian Gulf Premier League clubs will have the chance to be present.

As the camp is held outside the official FIFA  there are no official matches planned, but conditions permitting, there will be a match between Team Melli and Omid Team coached by Farhad Majidi who is inviting more than 50 players as part of the preparation for qualifying to the Olympics Games 2020.

On the other hand, the current Team Melli camp is much shorter than the previous ones conducted during Queiroz era. With the insistence of the League Committee and clubs and agreement of the head coach, training camps will no longer extend to 11 days as Welmots believes that the players’ club commitment for the start of the new season should not be adversely affected.

Three years earlier, Carlos Queiroz was in the process of organizing an 11-day camp in Austria, before the start of the league competition at the time. Branco Ivankovic strongly questioned the duration and timing of that camp and considered it inappropriate, a viewpoint that led to more than three years of conflict between the two foreign coaches.

Next Team Melli Camp 

10th July 2019  to 15th July

Duration: 5 days

Squad for Tunisia and Algeria Match


Carlos Queiroz invited 28 players to the national football team in preparation for the two friendly matches against Tunisia and Algeria.

According to ISNA, Iran’s Team Melli, which defeated Sierra Leone last yesterday (Saturday) by a convincing 4-0 result, will continue the preparation for the  friendly matches against Tunisia and Algeria which should me a much more serious affair and will give the coach a pretty good idea about the north african style of football ahead on the opener Word Cup match against Morocco.

The surprise inclusion is the former capt of Team Melli , Masoud Shojaei who has been recalled to the team.

In this list, 6 players who were in the squad for the last game vs. Sierra Leone, have lost their places in the latest squad. Hamed Lak, Mohammad Ansari, Kamal Kamyiabinia, Ahmad Abdollahzadeh, Omid Noroufkan and Ali AliPour were all left put. Among these players, NoorAfkan , the young Esteghl;al player was the best performer in the last match..

The names of the players invited to the national team are as follows:


# Player Post Club Country
1 ABEDZADEH, Amir GK C.S. Marítimo Portugal
2 BIRANVAND, Alireza GK Persepolis Iran
3 HOSSEINI, Hossein GK Esteghlal Iran
4 MAZAHERI, Mohammad Rashid GK Zob Ahan Iran
5 AGHAEI, Saeed DF Sepahan Iran
6 CHESHMI, Rouzbeh DF Esteghlal Iran
7 GHAFOORI, Vourya DF Esteghlal Iran
8 HOSSEINI, Jalal DF Persepolis Iran
9 KHANZADEH, Mohammadreza DF Padidah Iran
10 MOHAMMADI, Milad DF Terek Grozny Russia
11 MONTAZERI, Pejman DF Esteghlal Iran
12 POURALIGANJI, Morteza DF Al Sadd Qatar
13 REZAEIAN, Ramin DF K.V. Oostende Belgium
14 AMIRI, Vahid MF Persepolis Iran
15 EBRAHIMI, Omid MF Esteghlal Iran
16 EZZATOLLAHI, Saeid MF Amkar Perm Russia
17 HAJSAFY, Ehsan MF Panionios FC Greece
18 KARIMI, Ali MF Sepahan Iran
19 SHOJAEI, Masoud MF AEK Athens Greece
20 TORABI, Mehdi MF Saipa Alborz Iran
21 ANSARIFARD, Karim FW Olympiacos F.C. Greece
22 AZMOUN, Sardar FW Rubin Kazan Russia
23 GHODDOS, Saman FW Östersunds FK  Sweden
24 GHOLIZADEH, Ali FW Saipa Alborz Iran
25 GHOOCHANNEJAD, Reza FW SC Heerenveen Holland
26 JAHANBAKHSH, AliReza FW AZ Alkmaar  Holland
27 REZAEI, Kaveh FW R. Charleroi Belgium
28 TAREMI, Mehdi FW Al Gharrafah Qatar