Tag: Foolad Khuzestan

Hossein Faraki seems to be the lead candidate for Team Melli job.

With the withdrawal of Amir Ghalenoei and Mehdi Tarter, the exclusion of Yahya Golmohammadi from the initial list, and the outright rejection of the offer to coach Team Melli by Ali Daei, Hossein Faraki seems to be the leading candidate for the job.

Notwithstanding the two other candidates (Majidi & Nekounam) both of whom have discipline and stability issues in addition to lack of proper international experience required for the job, Faraki seems to tick all the boxes of FFIRI and most importantly to the authorities, being politically acceptable and loyal.

 In an interview with ISNA, Hossein Faraki acknowledged that his name was amongst several for the post of Team Melli head coach and said ” I was offered the chance for the job in a call made by FFIRI leadership. They sent me an invitation and asked me for a roadmap and plan for participating in the AFC Asian Cup 2023. Of course, there are other options and they specified a deadline for me to respond.”

He continued: “Anyway, it is the national team and it is where I played for many years and had coaching experience too. In the last one or two years, I have had proposals from several clubs, which I have not yet decided on. One of the reasons was the Corona issue, and after that, I realized that the place I want to go to, must have the right conditions and atmosphere to conduct my job. Maybe some clubs have problems and lack facilities, and I also wanted to be in a place where the conditions are available so that I can have an impact. I would like to do something for the national team if I can,”

The former coach of the national team added: “If I feel that something can be done, I will think about it. Many people would love to see me take the post and would love for this to happen to me and for me to get what I deserve. There are different opinions in this regard. Some agree and some disagree, but everyone is entitled to his opinions are it should be respected “

” So far I have not sent my program but I am in the process and will soon submit it to the federation. It will be sent by tomorrow and whatever the outcome will be, it will happen.”

“I don’t like to talk about speculation,” Farraki said about the selection of an Iranian or foreign coach for Team Melli. “Anyway, the decision maker is the Football Federation. Many of our coaches have potential and the desire of every coach is to lead the national team. We also need to motivate the Iranian coach. Foreign coaches have their own values, but under the current circumstances, it is better to give the Iranians the opportunity.

Faraki was born in Tehran on 22nd March 1957 and started his playing career with PAS Tehran from 1976 to 1992), He played for Team Melli  (22 caps/11 goals for Iran), and his coaching career included Esteghlal Tehran, Sepahan Isfahan, Persepolis Tehran

Hossein Faraki played for Team Melli in the first Iranian qualification for the World Cup in 1978. He also won third place in the AFC Asian Cup 1980 in Kuwait with the national team. Faraki served as assistant coach to Branko Ivankovic for three years. Faraki also has the experience of being the head coach of Iran’s Omid national team in 2004. He led Foolad Khuzestan to the League Title in 2012-2013. He also led the Sepahan Isfahan team to the title in 2013-2014, so within 2 years, he has led two different clubs to the championship titles in the Iran Premier Football League.

Javad Nekounam leaves his post abruptly after Foolad qualifies for the semi Finals!!

The head coach of Foolad Khuzestan and ex-Team Melli player, Javad Nekounam has resigned from his post right after leading his team against the Saudi Arabian side, Al Faisly in the knockout stages of the AFC Champions League western region.

After winning the tight match 1-0 with a goal scored by Sasan Ansari in Al Janoob Stadium in Doha, and advancing to the quarter-finals to meet the defending Champion Al Hilal, whom they play in two days’ time, Nekounam left abruptly in a classic unprofessional behavior that he is by now quite famous for. Contrary to his claims of being a professional football coach who learned his trade from his playing days in La Liga, one of the top and most professional leagues of the world, Nekounam was far from that.

Foolad is the only remaining Iranian club in the competition and qualification to the quarter-finals of the continent’s elite club competition is a unique achievement for the Khuzestani club and is also remarkable since the club is struggling in the domestic league. Foolad’s victory is also helping with the overall points credit for the Iranian clubs and the quota for next year’s competitions. Javad Nekonam’s resignation minutes after the final whistle of the sweet win against The Saudi team, was not only insensitive but also spoilt what was a big day for the Khuzestanis.

Nekonam’s resignation is a big shock for the club. The Foolad management has not accepted his resignation, but Nekounam was not present in the draw for the quarter-final round that pitted Foolad against Al Hilal. It is not known if the resigned coach has left Doha for Tehran either.

However, the question remains what was the reason behind Nekonam’s resignation despite his claim in the pre-match press conference that he is a professional coach? Such unprofessional behavior in the middle of this important tournament is far from ethical or professional.

There has been much talk and rumors about Javad Nekounam replacing Queiroz as the head coach of Team Melli. There are already rumors that his resignation is related to this subject and this rumorer was influenced by some reports in the Spanish media that claims Nekounam is on his way to take over Team Melli.

Javad Nekounam denies the rumors.

Javad Nekounam reacted to the gossip regarding his presence in Team Melli coaching staff in an interview during the training session of the Foolad Khuzestan football team. First of all, regarding the upcoming AFC Asian Cup 2023 and Iran’s elimination from the group stages at FIFA the World Cup, Nekounam said: “I have nothing to say about the national team. I hope this team is successful.”

Nekonam then emphasized that the mention of his name to join Team Melli created tension amongst Foolad fans and management who feared he will abandon the club. “First of all, I should say that no one should speak on my behalf in an interview. I have not received an offer. The federation has no plan on recruiting me. The first talks were not a definite plan just discussions. It is the same now as we speak. People just create rumors and this time it is about whether Nekunam will go or not. No one has spoken to me from FFIRI. If something happens, I will officially come in and talk to you (the media). If necessary, we will make a statement in coordination with the club. “

The head coach of Foulad continued: “I don’t feel that I need to deny or speak this subject every time someone fancies asking the same question. I say honestly, No one has spoken to me. Everyone’s dream is to become a coach of the national team, but when there are no exchanges, It is pointless to keep asking”

Nekounam served for a short time under Carlos Queiroz, but soon found himself out of the TEam Melli coaching staff before the squad departed to Russia for FIFA World Cup 2018


Foolad Khuzestan refutes the news of Nekounam joining Queiroz staff.

According to the Mehrnews, a quote attributed to Ehsan Usoli, the spokesperson of the Football Federation FFIRI, was published at noon today (Friday), stating that Javad Nekonam is confirmed to join Team Melli as assistant to  Queiroz while maintaining his job in the Foolad Khuzestan Club and Carlos Queiroz’s technical staff.

As expected, this issue led to the reaction of Foolad Khuzestan Club.

Mehr news reporter contacted Hamidreza Gershasabi, CEO of Foolad Club, to follow up on this issue. , Gershasabi denied this claim and  said ”  “Unfortunately, they are always creating rumors about Foolad Club and its head coach.”

” This is pure fabication. There is no such arrangement and nothing has changed since we publicly announced our position on this issue”. In further explanation of this issue, he added: “They were seeking Nekounam’s participation in the national team before, but we refused the release of our coach. The club was against the idea. Foolad has important commitments ahead in the league and the AFC Champions League. We have spent and planned extensively. Even now, under no circumstances do we agree to lose our head coach.

The CEO of Foolad Khuzestan emphasized: “On the other hand, it is news to me that Nekonam will join the national team while keeping his position in Foolad!! I have no idea where this came from.”

Gershasbi  was asked, “Is it possible that the leaders of the football federation consulted with the hierarchy or Leaders of the steel company (owners of the Foolad club)  to recruit Nekonam?” In response, Garshasbi said: I don’t know. They talked to us before hands saying that Queiroz wants Nekonam. Our response was that we needed him too and he is a Foolad Khuzestan Club employee. This was the end of the discussion. “

The CEO continued: “After that discussion, various people created rumors and lies. As Foolad Khuzestan Club, we have not agreed to Nekonam’s release.”

Asked when was the last contact between him and FFIRI in regards to Nekonam? He stated: “We talked last week and we disagreed. In the last conversation we had together, Nekonam told us that he has no interest in joining the national team.

“Is it possible that the Football Federation behind your back, has agreed with Nekonam and you are not informed?”
In response to this question, Gershasbi said: “I would not know. I doubt it. Nekounam said I will not go. He said that I will continue my plans in Foulad. What they claim that Nekounam has joined the national team ans it has been confirmed, is simply not true. Responding to the question that the source of the claim is by Ehsan Usoli, the spokesperson of the Football Federation, Garshasbi noted: “I will deny the news until this moment unless Nekonam took upon himself to act. Let us see what he has done, otherwise, his last agreement with me was that I will not join the national team.”

Once again it is apparent that Football in Iran is toxic where lies, deception, fabrications, and lobbying are so rife. It is very difficult to believe under normal conditions. The leaders lie with impunity, and so do coaches and players and it is all done under the patriotism flag!

Former finalists Persepolis kicked out of Asian Champions League

Tehran-based Persepolis, who lost in both the 2018 and 2020 finals of Asia’s elite club competition, are one of three Iranian clubs to have had their licenses revoked.

Esteghlal, winners of the 1970 and 1991 Asian Club Championship — the forerunner to the Asian Champions League — and Gol Gohar Sirjan are the others.

“The ECB (Entry Control Body) determined that the three clubs had not satisfied all of the mandatory criteria … and, accordingly, should not have been granted licences to participate in the AFC Champions League 2022,” the AFC said.

Esteghlal, who were also kicked out of the 2007 edition for failing to submit their players’ list on time, had been due to feature in the qualifying rounds after a third-place finish in the Iranian league.

Gol Gohar Sirjan did not qualify for the competition but the sanction means they cannot be nominated as a replacement for either of the excluded teams.

Foolad have already secured their spot in the group phase after winning last season’s Hazfi Cup, Iran’s primary domestic knockout competition, while league runners-up Sepahan will play in the qualifiers.

The draw for the 2022 Asian Champions League will take place on Jan. 17.

Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal are the defending champions after they defeated Pohang Steelers from South Korea in the final in November.



22 Domestic League players invited to Team Melli camp.

Dragan Skocic announced the list of 22 players playing in the domestic League to attend the national team camp.

The 22 players will be in Team Melli’s mini-camp for five days to August 30th. With the announcement of the final list of the team for the games against Syria and Iraq in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers, most of the players on this list will be eliminated. Seven players from Esteghlal, five players from Persepolis, and Sepahan, three players from Gol Gohar, one player from Traktorsazi and  Foolad are forming the squad invited, which will realistically probably end up with not more than three of the original squad.

Zubair Niknafs, Mohammad Karimi, Mehdi Abdi, Saleh Hardani, Mohammad Hossein Moradmand, Ahmad Zandeh Rouh, Yasin Salmani are the players who will participate in the national team camp for the first time.

Individuals such as Arsalan Motahari, Shahriyar Moghanloo, Farshid Ismaili, Saeed Aghaei, Seyed Hossein Hosseini, Farshad Ahmadzadeh, Siavash Yazdani, had been invited to the national team for one or two camps in recent years. Also, one of the interesting points in this list is the return of Seyed Hossein Hosseini, who has replaced Rashid Mazaheri. Hosseini had a steady presence in the national camps for a while, but with a relative performance decline in the 19th and early 20th leagues, he was completely eliminated from the national team, but now he has taken the place of his rival in Esteghlal.

Esteghlal: (7) Hossein Hosseini, Aref Aghasi, Mohammad Hossein Moradmand, Farshid Ismaili, Amir Arsalan Motahhari, Zubair Nikonfas and Siavash Yazdani

Persepolis: (5) Saeed Aghaei, Vahid Amiri, Mehdi Torabi, Mehdi Abdi, and Milad Sarlak.

Sepahan Esfahan: (5) Omid Nourafkan, Yasin Salmani, Shahriyar Moghanloo,, Farshad Ahmadzadeh and Mohammad Karimi

Golgohar Sirjan: (3) Mehdi Tikdari, Armin Sohrabian, Ahmad Zenderooh.

TractorSazi: (1) Mohammad Reza Akhbari

Foolad Khuzestan: (1) Saleh Hardani