Tag: Esteghlal

Cultural and Social Anomalies in Iranian Football


Cultural anomalies and social misdemeanor tensions in Iranian football have long posed significant challenges for cultural and social experts and activists. Various committees within the football federation have been tasked with addressing these issues and reducing tensions.

The Role of Committees

  1. Ethical Committee: Responsible for defining regulations related to ethical, and cultural issues, and fair play, as well as overseeing their implementation and addressing non-compliance cases.
  2. Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee: Focuses on establishing regulations related to cultural issues, fair play, and supervising their implementation within the football federation structure.

Cultural Integration in Clubs

Many Iranian clubs have incorporated cultural aspects alongside sports, often appointing a “Cultural Deputy” to manage cultural and social affairs within the clubs.

Challenges and Questions

Despite the existence of these committees and roles, questions arise regarding the effectiveness of their measures in recent years:

  • What fundamental measures have been taken to address cultural and social issues within Iranian football?
  • How successful have these committees and administrators been in curbing misbehavior and enhancing the image of domestic football?

Recent Incidents

Recent events involving players and coaches in prominent Iranian teams have highlighted ongoing challenges:

  • Danial Esmaili-Far and Javad Nekonam’s incidents raised concerns about player conduct and its impact on fans and the football community.

Impact and Reflection

The behavior of players and coaches on the field often mirrors the conduct of spectators, emphasizing the need for positive role modeling and cultural awareness within football.

Repeat Offenders

There are too many footballers and coaches who misbehave regularly with the fear of being punished, however, two of them have to be singled out as a prime example :

Javad Nekounam, a prominent figure known for his record as the most capped player for Team Melli and a former Captain, has consistently attracted media attention since transitioning to coaching after retiring as a player. His tenure, starting from Foolad Khuzestan, has been marred by frequent involvement in contentious incidents, including instances of unprofessional behavior, indiscretion, and verbal altercations.

Shoja’a Khalilzadeh: A player known for his misconduct both on and off the field. Recently, he has engaged in altercations with the press, hurling insults during interviews and displaying tantrums. His behavior has escalated to the point where he openly challenged the disciplinary committee of the federation to impose a ban on him.

Calls for Action

  1. Behavior Management: Emphasizes the importance of managing emotions and behaviors through expert guidance and club interventions.
  2. Club Responsibility: Urges clubs to take proactive measures in addressing misconduct before federation intervention becomes necessary.

The Need for Transparency

There is a call for greater transparency regarding the cultural initiatives and their impact:

  • Clubs and federations should clarify the measures taken in cultural fields and assess their effectiveness in fostering positive change.


While acknowledging challenges and weaknesses in disciplinary rules, there is an expectation for clubs and federations to prioritize cultural integration and responsibility to set positive examples within the football community.
Ever changing CEO’s of the clubs, financial instabilities, poor administrators and weak management of FFIRI has made the task of improving the culture of football so much more difficult, if not impossible.

Worrying league forms of Team Melli goalkeepers.

In the latest round of the Persian Gulf League, the spotlight fell squarely on the performance of Team Melli’s goalkeepers, with their errors leading to conceding goals that should have been easily avoided.

The Premier League witnessed rare occurrences this week, with individual mistakes and bizarre own goals becoming the talk of the town. Alireza Rezaei of Nasaji Mazandaran was the first to make headlines, allowing a seemingly innocuous ball slip through his legs in the dying moments of the game against Naft Abadan.

However, the most alarming incident unfolded during Sepahan’s clash with Peykan, where Payam Niazmand’s errors drew the ire of head coach Jose Morais, prompting a halftime substitution with Nima Mirzazad taking over goalkeeping duties.

Yet, the most disappointing display of the week came from Persepolis’s Alireza Beiranvand, the stalwart goalkeeper for Team Melli. Despite his status, Beiranvand’s recent form has been under scrutiny since the AFC Asian Cup 2023. His performance against Foolad Khuzestan further fueled doubts, as elementary errors led to both of Foolad’s goals, including a momentary lapse that resulted in a Persepolis own goal.

With Amir Ghalenoei and his coaching staff closely monitoring these league matches, concerns have undoubtedly arisen regarding the reliability of Team Melli’s main goalkeepers. However, amidst these worries, Esteghlal’s Keeper and Team Melli’s third-choice goalkeeper, Hossein Hosseini, emerged as a beacon of hope by maintaining a clean sheet.

As the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers loom on the horizon, all eyes are on Ghalenoei’s next move. Will he adhere to his pledge of rejuvenating the Team Melli squad, or will he opt for continuity with the old guard under the guise of needing more time? The next two matches will undoubtedly provide crucial insights into the direction Ghalenoei chooses for the national team.

Mohebbi joins FC Rostov

Mohammad Mohebbi, is seeking a new adventure in Russia.

The Team Melli forward who played last season on loan from Portugal’s Santa Clara team in Iran’s Esteghlal, has signed a three-year contract with Russian side FC Rostov club. The club is based in Rostov-on-DonRostov Oblast, and is coached by Valery Karpin.

After signing Mohebi’s contract, his agent made a bold statement and claimed that Mohebbi could be the next Cristiano Ronaldo of world football! In this regard, Saadati told the Russian RB Sport website: I can write a book about Mohammad. First, he is the complete professional player and a person with an incredible character.

He added: “Mohebi was one of the best young talents that Iranian football has produced in recent years, and with all his football and physical characteristics, he can play in the top European clubs.”

Saadati emphasized: ” I am sure that if this player is used wisely, Mohebbi can be the next Cristiano Ronaldo! He added: “If the coach gives Mohebbi enough time to adapt to the Russian league, the club can get incredible benefits.”

Notwithstanding the promotion and the hype that the agent is creating, Mohebbi will find life quite tough in the Russian league that is dominated by Zenit St. Petersburg for many years. Of course, Sardar Azmoun also played in Rostov and contributed to the success of the club and his eventual transfer to Zenit.

Rostov was 2nd in the 2022–23 Russian Premier League with 5 games left, but lost 4 out of 5 games and dropped to 4th place at the final table. Russian clubs are suspended from European competitions.

Amir Abedini: Queiroz must go.

Amir Abedini is a former club chairman, former professional footballer, and currently a member of the City Council of Tehran. Abedini’s views on football and politics have always been direct and bold. He has no issues speaking up against corruption, shortfalls, and anything that he deems to be harmful to society. In football, he rarely holds back and is most critical of the football establishment, the nepotism, and the mismanagement of the federation. He does not get much press exposure because his views are deemed to be controversial and since the FFIRI and football, in general, are under direct government control, it will be detrimental to the ruling clan and the political system.

Abedini was recently interviewed by Mehrnews post the Tehran derby that ended in a 2-2 draw. He was critical of the standard of the match, the lack of atmosphere as the match was played behind closed doors in the 100,000-capacity Azadi stadium, and the general lack of quality, and skills by the players of Esteghlal and Persepolis. Abedini then remarked that “after the Excitement of the World Cup and the beautiful games we have witnessed, perhaps our expectation of this derby was far too high.”

Amir Abedini was then asked about team Melli.

The former president of the Football Federation emphasized: “One of the issues that play a role in the quality of the league is the national team, which we do not see in Iran at the moment. Queiroz’s national team means a predetermined package; A certain group of players who, if Queiroz could, would even be taken with him to Colombia! In my opinion, our league is useless and its output is nothing for the national team. This hurts the league, the players, and the clubs in many ways.

Mehdi Taj is losing his bearings.
Abedini also responded to Mehdi Taj’s strange behavior and answers, which caused a lot of controversy on the sports network a few days ago, and added: Taj is losing his integrity due to the intense pressure he is under. One of the admirable merits of Taj was his coolness and his reasonable dealings with the media. Today Taj is tense and nervous and this nervousness plays a role in his behavior and decision-making. The bad failure in the World Cup made him nervous. The expectations of the people and the media are quite high and yet I have not seen any true critique from the media so far.

Team Melli was disappointing in the World Cup.
” We didn’t see anything of worth from Iran in the World Cup,” the former member of the Football Federation stated: “People expected the National Team to show its face and turn up to play football in the World Cup, but we didn’t see such thing. The beating by England hurt badly. In the 2018 World Cup, we defeated Morocco, but what happened to Morocco, who lost to us, four years later? they became among the top four teams in the world and were so good that the people of Asia, Africa, and some of the people of other continents wanted Morrocco to reach the final. . Or, for example, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea, which performed significantly better than Iran.

Unwanted Queiroz was reborn and became alive with Iran.
Abedini added: We defeated the modest team of Wales. A team that really had nothing to say, but we messed up the national team’s camp and created false expectations. The same package of players that I mentioned earlier, threw that gentleman (Queiroz) up and down 6 times against England. Was it the same case for Korean and Japanese coaches? No one wanted Queiroz anywhere, but we brought him back to life. Taj defends something that has been rejected by the people and the media. People are not thrilled anymore;  Why do they insist that Queiroz remains one of the options for the head coach of the national team? Mr. Taj! People attack you because you are defending something that has been rejected by the people. People enjoy and rave about winners and enjoy success. Failures have no place in society.

Queiroz needs to go.
 “I am against the renewal of Queiroz’s contract. His work is not good enough.” The former president of the Football Federation emphasized that he is against the continuation of Queiroz’s work in the national team and said: “I am expressing my opinion. If Mr. Taj wants to stay in football, he must create a platform for consensus, that is, elites and experts who believe that change is necessary for football. It is good that the league is held, but the important thing is how our matches are held and what quality.

Imaginary enemies
“The media is not the enemy of football.” Abedini said, in response to the criticism of Mehdi Taj’s performance,” Taj should be spoken to and the public is entitled to know what is his plan for football and Team Melli. How does he want to continue his work? The General Assembly members and board of directors need to address that. Fand=s and experts should feel relaxed and be assured that football is being properly run (…) . These are football fanatics. The media is not an enemy, and neither are the people. Mehdi Taj must have a master plan with checkpoints to determine whether it is moving in the right direction or not.

Plans for Team Melli
“I think people like Dadkan and Maeli Kohn can provide good advice to Taj in regard to Team Melli.
Asked about, what advice the former Head of FFIRI  has for the Federation Assembly regarding the national team. He said: “Elites must decide. The football federation is for the people and the football elites become the representatives of the people. Make a decision and accept responsibility for it. People like Dadkan or Maeli Kohn or those who have experienced the ups and downs of football should help Taj as a consultant and support him. This would be a good option. It is not just a matter of having foreign or domestic coaches; whoever takes over in Team Melli, should be a coach who is proud of his appointment and capable, skillful, and competent for the post.

Queiroz complains and then threatens!

According to Mehr’s reporter, today’s training of the Iranian national football team was held in a situation where

Carlos Queiroz appeared in front of reporters for a few minutes to explain the latest developments and the conditions of his team. In his short conversation with the press, the Portuguese head coach of Team Melli complained about the training camp progress which he claimed was ruining his plans. He predicted that the preparation of Team Melli collapsing!!

In the beginning, he said: “For whatever reason, our preparation program is not moving in the right direction. You are aware that preparation is a key step in the path ahead and without it, we cannot achieve an ideal condition.” The head coach of the national team, for the first time, indirectly warned that some players not participating in this current training of the squad might face the chop. He said: “Now that we don’t have these players, it is difficult to check on their forms, rediness and standards. Probably, some of them will miss the opportunity to be on the national team.” Queiroz raised this issue of Mohammad Hossein Kananizadegan and Shoja’a Khalilzadeh, the two central defenders , who had to return to Qatar after two weeks of training with the national team, by the order of the Al-Ahli club.

In this regard, he said: “Unfortunately, Qatar’s Al-Ahli Club did not allow Shoja’a Khalilzadeh and Kananizadegan to continue training with us. Five weeks without a football game is hard for them to be on the roster. I have to think about this again. All players must practice and play and be available. Queiroz also mentioned the absence of Esteghlal players in this round of training. The Esteghlal players are training for the Super Cup match against Nasaji, and now it is not clear whether the head coach of the national team is referring to the possibility of some players being crossed out from Team Melli roster. It is not clear if Queiroz exclusion warning was towards the Esteghlal player on Team Melli list or the defensive line pair of the Al-Ahli club.

In any case, Queiroz is back to his old tricks preparing people in case of failure in the World Cup. Al Ahli club have done Team Melli a favor by realsing the players for two weeks as they are under no obligation to release them a month before the start of the World Cup. Estghla Club is also in the same boat as Al Ahli as Esteghlal have an important match in the domestic league calender. They are playing the Nasiji in the super cup.

Hosseinzadeh, a complicated file for Charleroi

Source: https://seo-bestlink.com/

For several days or even weeks, the name of Amirhossein Hosseinzadeh has been coming up regularly as a potential recruit in Charleroi. For the management, it is not, at first sight, an absolute priority for this summer transfer window, but they believe a lot in him and would see him as a reinforcement for the future. The attacking midfielder (21) of Esteghlal FC, defending champion, is considered one of the greatest talents in the country and is already international. His market value has seriously increased in recent months and is approaching one million euros.

Charleroi, via the Iranian connections of Mehdi Bayat, is seduced by the player even if he knows that it will take time for him to adapt. According to our information, Hosseinzadeh considers himself ready to join Europe. Perhaps not as an immediate starter, of course, but above all with the aim of continuing his development.

But then, what is stuck in the transaction? First, several clubs are interested in his services. But above all, according to the Iranian press, Hosseinzadeh is mired in a politico-sports quarrel. Indeed, the player had, it is said in Iran, an agreement with Ahmed Madadi, the former president of the Iranian club, to be able to join Europe in the event of an offer set at 250,000 dollars. Except that Esteghlal, an institution very close to the power of Tehran, has changed president. And that the latter, Mostafa Ajorlou, does not intend to release his nugget for such a sum when he could get three or four times more.

Could the player free himself from his release clause? Will Charleroi succeed in settling this thorny issue? A few days ago, Hosseinzadeh gave the beginning of an answer: “I hope something good will happen. To the Esteghlal club and to me.” In short, the file could still last.


Cheragpour calls for action to address shortfalls in Iran’s football.

An increasing number of football analysts are concerned with the poor standard of the Iranian football league which was evident in the top of the table clash between Esteghlal and Persepolis in the Tehran derby while also bemoaning the poor discipline and the leniency of the football federation against violations and violent play in matches that are committed without being punished.

In a recent interview, Jalal Cheraghpour the former Team Melli coach and a current football analyst talked to Mehr News and expressed his disappointment with the derby draw between Persepolis and Esteghlal and also discussed Team Melli.

“The derby had everything but football! ” Jalal Cheraghpour said.

” I would like to start with this issue, a comprehensive definition of a football game in one sentence; Because we need to know a specific definition of how a match is presented in order to be able to analyze it.”

The veteran football expert added: “The comprehensive definition of the ’98 derby was war and conflict in a game in which there was no sign of real football! We saw the wastage of football. When we do not observe tactics during the match and do not understand a certain strategy, it means that we are dealing with football waste. All the derby scenes were a football waste. There was nothing technical to rave about or analyze “

” It was like a war, not just small incidents or minor fringes ” Cheraghpour, said: “Unfortunately, the incidents were not anything like what happens in a normal football game. Excessive stress should not lead to abuse to others. Pressure to get results and failure to get a win must not lead to what we witnessed,  a war in which happily no real weapons were used! “

Cheraghpour then commented on the various flashpoints in the match and in particular the behavior and misdemeanor of Persepolis coach. : “Golmohammadi’s behavior was the result of the same football that we saw. The behaviors were completely amateurish and immature. I am not saying that Golmohammadi was wrong or not, but I am saying that we confused the competition with a football war.”

“The Football Federation is going in the wrong direction again ” The former coach of the Iranian national team pointed out the need for the federation to pay attention to the non-technical issues and the troubles and side issues that are perpetually created in every match in the league. He said: “I have no doubt that the Football Federation is still being steered in the wrong direction. We need a Human Behavior department. We need psychologists and clubs should be forced to employ psychoanalysts and disorders analysts to control the emotional disorder of players and coaches. The volume of indifference is mixed with false excitement, which is unbelievable. “

“The referees have become apathetic and the teams are behaving unprofessionally. All these wrong behaviors are naturally transmitted to Team Melli”

“The national team list is becoming repetitive” Cheraghpour said about the latest squad list to play against South Korea and Lebanon: “We are still witnessing a repetitive list despite the current disparities. Technical problems remain on the list. In my opinion, now that the qualification Team Melli is assured, we needed to solve some problems in certain positions. Why are we so conservative? ” Criticizing some of the old players invited to the team, Cheragpour said: “I think if we were looking for progress, a player who has been in the national team for eight years yet plays the least minutes, would not have been invited anymore. Why Karim Ansarifard and Ehsan Haj Safi are still on the list. I like them both, but their physique and stamina no longer suit the technical requirement of modern football and even the Iranian national team. “

“The list of the national team is not progressive,” said Cheraghpour. “This team is again an instrument of the head coach and only fulfills his wishes. With Carlos Queiroz, we also had the same personal selfishness and the objective was to create a successful resume for the head coach. Skocic was selfish like Quieroz. “look at the list, there are eight players that should not be there

The Iranian football expert emphasized:” Eight players of the team have passed their football best. I fail to understand why we do not invite a player who has room to develop, instead. In my opinion, Kamal KamyabiNia does process half of the abilities of three years ago, but he is still present on the list. At the same time, we leave out a player like Mohammad Daneshgar, who still has room for improvement with the national team and who has had an admirable performance in the league with his club.”

He was asked whether the Croatian Head coach is also pursuing personal triumph in the games against South Korea and Lebanon? “Skocic position is quite strong,” he said. “He is no longer afraid of not being on the bench of Team Melli. If he leaves Iran today, he will still have a good CV with the records he achieved with Iran.”

About the strategy that should be deployed in the World Cup 2022, the former coach of Team Melli said “in my opinion, the technical staff must avoid selecting players who keep the ball at their feet longer than 3 seconds or head the ball to pass. They will no longer be useful. Now, world football is moving at a fast pace and momentary decisions of the players are crucial. Unfortunately, our football is much slower than ever. Most Iranian players need twice the time to think and ultimately lose advantage and opportunity”

The Derby ends in a draw with little to shout about.

The much anticipated Tehran Derby between Esteghlal and Persepolis was played on Thursday in Azadi Stadium and ended in a 1-1 draw. The importance of this derby was due to the fierce rivalry between the two teams at the top of the league table, allowing fans entry into Azadi and the selection of players for Team Melli.

Despite the restriction on the number of fans allowed into the stadium, the effect on the atmosphere and the players of the two teams was quite significant as the match was a thrilling contest from the word go. It is estimated that 20,000 fans were presently divided equally between the two teams’ supporters while thousands waited outside Azadi and in the perimeters.

The pace of the game was fast and furious, which excited the fans, but there were very few tactics and beautiful moves in the game.  From the onset, the game was spoilt by the continuous protests from players and the bench every time the referee whistled for a foul!

There is little to write about the positive side of this game despite its importance. Errors in passing, poor finishing, wild tackles, lack of basics of football was quite vivid in this game. Even allowing for the sensitivity of the match, there were numerous schoolboy errors by what was supposed to be a match between the two top teams in the country. The finishing in front of the goal was truly embarrassing and comical. In general, the match was not a good advertisement for Iran’s football whose national team has just qualified for the FIFA World Cup.

The biggest criticism, however, must be fired towards the two coaches of Persepolis and Esteghlal. Golmohammadi and Majidi. Two ex- Team Melli teammates from the same era, have stepped up to coaching without solid groundwork.  They both have a lot to learn in football management but more significantly in anger management and behavior.

From the start of the match, the bench of both teams was the catalyst in bringing the game into disruptions by their constant protests and violations.  lack of manners, shouting, threatening behavior, and the attempt of Golmohammdi to physically attack the referee resembled a scene from a gangster movie rather than a football pitch.

Golmohammadi was dismissed but it was far too late from a feeble referee who could have acted much firmly early on and could easily award a few cards of different colors earlier in the game.

GolMohammadi’s behavior was not befitting a professional coach and his loss of control in front of the camera watched by millions globally, should give the club an indication that the man is emotionally not fit to lead a big club at big events. Majidi is in a similar boat however, he escaped being sent to the stands for being able to control his temper earlier on after a stern warning from the referee.

The weakness of the FFIRI against the top teams is well documented in Iran. Persepolis and Esteghlal are simply too big for the feeble federation. The disciplinary Committee has historically shown reluctance in awarding heavy fines when Persepolis or Esteghlal are involved. Any final ruling would always end up being either appealed and reduced or dismissed altogether.

FFIRI bans Hossein Kananizadegan for lack of ethics.

The Disciplinary and Ethics Committee of Iran’s Football Federation FFIRI has issued its verdict regarding the case against Team Melli central defender Hossein Kananizadegan.

“The committee has found Hossein Kananizadegan guilty as charged and fined one billion rials plus a two games ban for violating the ethical rules of football. The ban applies to National Team Games, Futsal, and Beach Soccer. Pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article 63 of the Code of Ethics and paragraph 4 of Article 103 of the Disciplinary Code, the ban and fine contained in the above ruling shall not prevent the execution or the suspension of the ruling as soon as the execution is issued and an appeal is filed. Also, if he has an appeal to file, the player should submit his objection to the ethics committee of the federation within one week from this date, observing the legal formalities mentioned in Article 63 of the ethics regulations regarding the appeal process”.  the ruling declared according to the FFIRI website.

Kananizadegan has been a subject of controversy and his inclusion in the two Team Melli games against Iraq and UAE has been found to be a fraudulent and crooked move by the federation. The notorious Knanizadegan, who always seems to be one step near trouble on and off the pitch has uttered profanity and insulting remarks against Estghelal club fans. The recording he made went viral and was condemned by a large swathe of journalists, fans, and footballers alike. Esteghlal club management filed an official complaint against him in December last year.

The defender will miss both the South Korea match away and the final match against Lebanon in Azadi.

The 27 years old Kananizadegan currently plays his football in Qatar Stars League with Al-Ahli

Yet, the FFIRI Disciplinary committee despite having all the incriminating evidence to prosecute the player, conveniently waited until the last two Team Melli matches then issued the disciplinary action!

Humiliations and shame.

Controversy, disciplinary actions, sanctions are never very far from Iranian football scenes although thankfully in the past few years, marked improvements have been noticed with less negative news and punitive actions taken against the Iranians.

Iran football at its roots is a bipartisan system based on two teams Persepolis and Esteghlal. Although the accurate figure is impossible to determine, an estimate of more than 90% of the fans in Iran supports one of the two Tehrani teams, has been mentioned. Persepolis probably has more fans than the population of many Asian countries members of AFC .

The whole system is also geared towards the welfare of the two iconic clubs. From journalists, the media, Radio & TV all the way to the Majlis. Sometimes the affairs of the two clubs are topics of discussion in the assembly as if there are no other more pertinent problems to discuss.

The Aura that has been created by the two clubs has also led to corruption, lobbying, and nepotism in a big way thus affecting the livelihood of the many and causing pain and distress to others.  If we have failed to mention it, the owners of the two clubs are none other than the government of the Islamic republic!

Imagine that Manchester City and Manchester United are owned by the same company. To start with, that is a huge conflict of interest, against the spirit of clean competition and something that is not acceptable anywhere in the civilized world. The question that many would ask though, is what is the government doing running a football club or two, in this case?

In Iran’s case, it is simple. Political propaganda and ensuring the big brother keep an eye on the massive force of the youth. Governments do not own and run football clubs, there are much more important businesses to take care of, however, success, winning trophies, and titles would have alleviated the peculiar structure and ownership of the clubs by a long shot. The reality is otherwise as this regime has failed miserably in running the two football teams. Not only they have not won any Champions League titles, but they are also both on the brink of bankruptcy and being sued for millions of dollars in courts for breaches of contracts with their staff, suppliers, and partners.

For over 40 years, not a single Iranian club has won the coveted continental trophy under the Islamic Republic’s control. That is an incredible sign of failure for a proud nation.

If that is not bad enough, the humiliation of both Persepolis and Esteghlal being kicked out of the Asian Champions League due to a countless number of irregularities tops every shame that Iran’s football has been subjected to in the last four decades. This one is the absolute disaster that touches the feeling and the pride of the people and the country. And there is one and one culprit only. The regime of the Islamic Republic has been promising since Khatemi’s days to hand over the clubs to private sectors and failed to do so for decades.

This is the result….the anger and disgust felt by Iranians and Iran football supporters outside the country touch beyond sport, it is an insult that could be quite costly for the regime.

The honorable thing to do for the Islamic Republic is to admit that it is not geared for running football teams and being engaged in their quarrels, hand over the teams to the public and refrain from using these clubs as propaganda tools.

We have been critical of AFC on many occasions, but this time the Asian Football Confederation has done Iran’s football a favor that only the intelligent and the more mature audience would appreciate.