Tag: Javad Nekounam

Analysis of Reza Enayati’s Tenure in Iranian Football

Failure stories.

Last year, Iran’s Omid football team faced a significant setback when they were eliminated from the Asian Olympic football competition qualifiers after a surprising defeat against Hong Kong. This loss dashed their hopes of advancing to the next stage of the Olympic qualifiers. The team’s head coach, Reza Enayati, was a controversial choice due to his lack of coaching experience. His appointment came with the backing of several officials, including Team Melli’s head coach, Amir Ghalenoei. Unfortunately, Enayati’s inexperience was glaringly evident both in his squad selection and his management during the qualifiers. Despite having a roster filled with promising young talents, some of whom were already part of Iran’s senior team, Enayati’s tactical shortcomings led to the team’s early exit against a modest Hong Kong side.

The aftermath of this failure was met with widespread disappointment from both the media and fans, who demanded accountability from the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI). However, no significant actions were taken, and the pervasive impunity in Iranian football continued unabated. Surprisingly, despite this major setback, Enayati was soon appointed as the head coach of Peykan Football Club, one of Tehran’s oldest and most prestigious teams. This decision was perplexing, especially given Peykan’s history of developing young players for Iran’s national teams at various levels.

Enayati’s tenure at Peykan proved to be another disastrous chapter in his coaching career. Under his leadership, the team suffered relegation from the Premier League following a 0-2 defeat against Esteghlal in the final week of the season. This relegation marked a significant blow, as Peykan had been a mainstay in the top flight for many years. Tehran’s football scene also took a hit, losing one of its Premier League representatives.

Given these consecutive failures, it raises questions about whether any CEO would be willing to entrust Enayati with a team for the next season. However, it appears that those who supported Enayati’s appointment despite his failure with the Omid team may once again find a new opportunity for him.

Enayati’s situation is emblematic of broader issues within Iranian football, including incompetency, corruption, and nepotism. The rapid progression of former players to coaching roles without adequate training, certification, or experience is a troubling trend. Coaches like Nekounam, Shojaei, and Navidkia are examples of individuals who have been given significant coaching responsibilities without meeting international standards. In contrast, European leagues often require formal coaching certifications and a thorough vetting process before appointments, a practice largely ignored in Iran.

This lack of process and disregard for international coaching standards not only hampers the development of Iranian football but also undermines its credibility on the global stage. For Iranian football to progress, there needs to be a significant overhaul in how coaches are trained, certified, and appointed, ensuring that competence and meritocracy replace the current culture of favoritism and expediency.

Cultural and Social Anomalies in Iranian Football

Introduction

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.

Conclusion

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.

Amir Ghalenoei out of the race for Team Melli head coach job.

One of the main internal options for the leadership of Team Melli has withdrawn from the race.

According to news agency reports, Amir Ghalenoei, Hossein Faraki, Mehdi Tartar, Farhad Majidi, and Javad Nekounam were named as the final five internal options of the Football Federation to lead the national team. Among the candidates, only Amir Ghalenoei has prior experience in leading Team Melli. The former Esteghlal coach and current Gol Gohar Sirjan head coach was at the top of the list, however, Ghalenoei immediately announced his withdrawal.

 On his personal page, Ghalenoei announced his decision in an Instagram post story. The reasons behind his decision were not obvious except for mentioning that the timing was not right for him to accept such a move. Ghalenoei also had a veiled dig against the federation for omitting the names of the leading candidates for the Team Melli job, particularly Yahya Golmohammadi.

On the other hand, it is also reported that Mehdi Tartar has also withdrawn from the race which leaves Hossein Faraki, Mehdi Tartar, Farhad Majidi, and Javad Nekounam as the three choices. The latter has just abandoned his job as head coach of Foolad Khuzestan while still involved in the race for AFC Asian Champions League title. His petulant and highly unethical attitude makes Nekounam unworthy of coaching the National Team of Iran. His poor record in coaching and the controversies that seem to surround him in every match create unhealthy surroundings in Team Melli.

Farhad Majidi is no better than Nekounam either.

From that list, Hossein Faraki seems to be the only viable coach with experience and the right conduct for the job.

Meanwhile, the head of the football federation emphasized that we are in no rush to choose the head coach of the national team and said: “We are currently busy with holding league games and there is no possibility of forming a national team. We are thinking about both Iranian and foreign options and we have to choose the option of the head coach of the national team with special prudence and sensitivity (….) ”

A perennial failure figure in selecting a proper coach for Team Melli, Mehdi Taj is known for his authoritarian decision-making. He has always been prompted and guided by the government in form of the Minister of Sports. Therefore the appointment of the future Team Melli coach will be highly dependent on that person’s loyalty to the regime values, Islamic revolutions principles, and being an obedient servant, much more than his competency, experience, and skills in coaching.

The options for domestic coaches are quite narrow, while a foreign coach seems to be a remote possibility due to figures that the FFIRI cannot possibly afford to pay in addition to the crumbling of the Iranian currency against the dollar.

 

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

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Team Melli ready for an Iranian coach.

It is high time this federation, aka the regime, thinks of appointing a National coach to lead Team Melli in the next stage which is the AFC Asian Cup 2023 and beyond.

It is now over 11 years since an Iranian head coach has managed Team Melli. The last one who could speak Farsi was Afshin Ghotbi, who left his post following the elimination of Iran in the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup 2011.  Before him, it was Mayeli Kohn who was fired as soon as he was recruited, and before that Ali Daei.

The disappointing failure in the FIFA World Cup should ring some alarm bells in the FFIRI or the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the de facto ruler of football in Iran. There is nothing to suggest that Carlos Queiroz has anything more to offer Team Melli. In fact, his sudden return was an act of desperation by one man whose recent return has created controversy as head of the Football Federation. Mehdi Taj took a gamble by listening to several senior players who thought that Queiroz would be a much better option than Dragan Skocic with less than 3 months to go to the World Cup. That gamble failed, and Team Melli left Doha with two defeats, the first of which was a painful humiliation for Iran’s football.

The return of Mehdi Taj is not a good omen for Iran football. The man is a political appointee and his priority is certainly not toward football development or growth. The object is to safeguard the regime’s interest using the popularity of football as a tool. Such appointments are quite common in Iranian establishments.

The gamble on Queiroz, who was fired from his previous two jobs due to failures,  was part of the plan to preserve the regime while it was suffering the most serious of internal challenges. Queiroz served a purpose and with a handsome payment for a few months, he would abide by the rules.

After  8 years of the Portuguese man and millions spent, Team Melli Queiroz has achieved nothing that a decent local Iranian coach would not achieve. It is now the right time to pick that decent Iranian coach to lead Team Melli in Doha, like the last time under Ghotbi. There is no lack of candidates either, but the best candidate must be Yahya Golmohammadi.

At 51 and after an illustrious football career as Team Melli and Persepolis player, Golmohammadi coached several teams like  Naft Tehran, Zob Ahan, Tractor Sazi, and Padideh before he took over Persepolis in 2020 (for the second time in his career).  Golmohammadi managed to win the league title twice with Persepolis.  While not perfect and has his shortfalls, Golmaohammadi, proved many times that he is a skillful and consistent coach with a winning mentality who can control and lay down the best game plans for his players and could also control rebel players too. Under limited resources and shortages of star players, he lead the team to the title while others clubs with better players and resources failed to do so.  Golmaohammadi therefore must be a leading candidate for Team Melli.

Amir Ghalenoei is consistently ranked near the top of coaches in Iran. The former Head Coach of Team Melli and a record holder of League titles wins as a coach has the attributes and abilities of a successful coach.  His major shortfall has to be the temperament that has put him in all sorts of trouble. This is possibly the only setback with Ghalenoei.

Javad Nekounam is a young and upcoming star in coaching in Iran. His shortage of experience in coaching is covered by his long playing career in Spain under quality coaches. He learned from the best.

In any case, there would be other contenders for the Team Melli head coach job, the important matter is that this federation must give the Iranians the opportunity to manage their own team the way that Morocco, Japan, Australia, and many other teams in the World Cup have done. FFIRI has to put trust in Iranian coaches at some stage, and there is no better time than now. I should be a long-term project too.

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!

Ali Daei turns down Team Melli head coach post for the umpteen time.

After the drama of sacking Dragan Skocic and the theatrics of the FFIRI management, Ali Daei once again categorically refused to head coach Team Melli under current management and the shabby situation of the team.

Ali Daei, Javad Nekounam, and Amir Ghalenoui are the front runners to replace the sacked Team Melli coach to lead the team in difficult conditions in the 2022 World Cup, Among the candidates, Ali Daei was identified as the most suitable option.

However, the former head coach of Team Melli, who has been giving negative answers to all domestic and foreign offers for several years, was once again approached by the Football Federation, and once again he turned it down with an emphatic “No”.
One of the football federation officials confirmed Daei’s refusal in a conversation with Mehr reporter. “Daei has not agreed to replace Skocic in the current situation and has asked the officials of the football federation to consider this issue as finished and not to think about his presence on the bench of the national team.” Therefore, Ali Daei’s presence as the head coach of Iran’s national team in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is ruled out, and the football federation must look at its other internal options.

Daei seems to have learned his lesson and was wise enough to distance himself from this management and federation. The situation for Team Melli is critical and the chance of making a challenge for the two top spots in the group against the likes of England, Wales, and USA is becoming even more difficult now than before.

Daei knows very well that the lack of resources and leadership in Iran’s football plus the political interference from the government will make his task nearly impossible. The strong character of Daei and his fearless no-nonsense attitude will be impossible for the FFIRI and the government too.

Despite the pressure from a number of Team Melli players, the Ministry of Sports, and several members of parliament to reinstate Carlos Queiroz, the Football Federation strongly opposed his return to the bench of Team Melli. So that the head coach of the Iranian national team in the 2014 and 2018 World Cups has little chance to score a hat trick with minimal effort and lead Iran for the third time running in 2022.
The results of the Iranian national volleyball team with Behrouz Atai, the Iranian head coach of this team, caused the football federation to consider and maneuver the proposal of an Iranian coach who has the ability to gather the chaotic atmosphere the Team created by two partizan groups of players. The poor preparation and lack of international preparation matches on FIFA day, also frustrated many players as discontent is rife.

It seems that Mirshad Majdi, after consulting with some FFIRI Board Members has opted for a domestic option. Ghalenoui, like Daei, is also wise enough and cannot seriously entertain the idea of coaching Team Melli.

Javad Nekounam is the only other option. He lacks experience at the international level and has only been a coach for a few years. Despite the risks, it is believed that he will very well accept the challenge and hope for the best. The risk, however, is that a bad performance by Team Melli in Qatar or failure to qualify for the next round will ruin his reputiation career in coaching far too early in his career. He will also be the subject of the wrath of the fans.

The Football mafia is at it again!

Team Melli lost to Algeria 2-1 in a friendly match in Doha, and that triggered the Iranian football mafia into action. It was like the ideal result for them to call for the head of the current head coach and calls for the former one to return at the helm of Team Melli.

Commenting on such scenario, Bijan ZolfagharNasab the former player and coach of the Iranian national football team who is currently an Advisor to the Minister of Youth and Sports, in reference to Dragan Skocic status, said: “He is the best option now and the atmosphere should not be made more polluted than what is now.”

Team Melli training camp was attended by the Iranian Minister of youth Sports Hamid Sajjadi who held private meetings with senior players such as Omid Ebrahimi, Ehsan HajSafi, Mehdi Taremi, Sardar Azmoun, Alireza Biranvand, and Alireza Jahanbakhsh the night before the match. A meeting in which the players complained about the process of preparing the team for a respectable representation of the country in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

After the 2-1 loss, a result that would not be so critical to any national team in a friendly match, rumors were circulating about the possibility of a change in the coaching staff and the departure of Dragan Skocic less than five months before the start of the first game against England, with the typical name of Carlos Queiroz mentioned in addition to Javad Nekounam as possible replacements.

These rumors intended with malice were accompanied by an official reaction from the Ministry of Sports and Youth regarding interference in technical issues and the selection of the head coach of the Iranian national football team. Mohsen Motamedkia, head of public relations at the Ministry of Sports, said: “The absolute position of the Ministry of Sports and Youth has been to support the decisions made by the Football Federation (FFIRI) from the very beginning, and this position still stands.”

“The Ministry of Sports and Youth has no input in technical matters and only acts as a supporter and a patron behind all sports federations, including the football federation.”

Referring to some rumors, citing yesterday’s meeting of six national team players with Hamid Sajjadi, he noted:” The Minister knows and is aware of sports etiquette well and is fully acquainted with the position of the technical staff, and this meeting was requested by the supervisor and The technical staff of the national team was held and they listened to the concerns of these players for nearly two hours on behalf of the other players and in the presence of the team leader and member of the board of directors of the federation. “

In an interview with Mehr, Bijan ZolfagharNasab commented on criticism of Dragan Skocic: “I think we have witnessed one of the sloppiest games of the Iranian national team in the last decade. We ran after the ball without a purpose and had no strategy to win.” The Adviser to the Minister of Sports then commented on whether it is necessary to change the coaching staff of Team Melli before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar: “I do not consider it appropriate to change the current situation. I think we have little chance until the World Cup games. Any change can be to our detriment. Dragan Skocic has done very well and should not be judged by a technical error in a friendly preparation match. “

Zulfiqar Nasab clarified the rumors of the return of Carlos Queiroz: “Mr. Queiroz worked hard for national football, but if he was going to do something worthwhile, he would have done it in the eight years. he was at the helm.  I do not know what changes are going to happen to Team Melli with his presence, which is not possible now. Taking command of the national team at this stage does not cure any pain. We came to a conclusion with him anyway,”

About Skocic, ZolfagharNasab “He kept his faith in these same players. Skocic is the best option at the moment”

As for lack of forward planning and poor management in the Football Federation particularly in arranging friendly international matches for Team Melli: “Unfortunately, there is no sign of planning.  The national team needs preparation for games with teams like England and Wales that have a high physical form. “The former coach of the Iranian national team noted: “We have a very difficult job with the current conditions to qualify out of the group. We can not stand to be counted against the best in the world by relying on the individual ability of the players. This team’s success is a long and complicated process. It needs a chain from the management of the federation all the way to the team players.

Nekounam “Skocic was NOT the federation choice”

Javad Nekounam, the former Captain of Team Melli and the current coach of Foolad Khuzestan has claimed that the football federation had no role to play in the appointment of the current coach.

Nekounam joins a score of football observers and experts in claiming that Dragan Skocic was never on the shortlist of candidates for the Team Melli head coach post as prepared by the FFIRI suggesting that his appointment was dictated upon the federation.

These claims came in a Radio Talk show on Tuesday. When initially asked if he was approached by the FFIRI for the post of Team Melli head coach, Nekounam declined to answer but said: “he was flattered if they have considered him for the job, but in reality, it was another administrative and leadership blunder to let Carlos Queiroz leave.”

“If the decision making in our football was any good, we would have experienced much better results. If Queiroz continued, Omid team would have qualified for the  Olympics (…) and Team Melli status could have been much better. This bad planning hurt our coaches and teams.”

“When Queiroz was the coach, there was a good rapport between him and the president of the federation, I also attended some of the meetings between the two. “

Asked if the federation had negotiated with him, Nekounam said, “I have nothing to say. The coach of the national team has been selected and I do not want to go into the details and discussions that have taken place.”

Nekounam continued: “To those Friends who criticized Queiroz, I would like to ask; where Iranian football is now. I said it then, and I say it now, our football is going downhill, and you can see that.”

” Queiroz was willing to stay in Iran with less money than Wilmots because he had full knowledge and could get other honors. (…) It was our mistake to release him and it was the lack of appreciation that caused the separation of Queiroz.”

“The football federation was not the decision-maker in Skocic’s appointment” Nekounam claimed.

“No one in the federation has taken the responsibility to declare that we (FFIRI) did it. If someone in the federation declares at this stage that it was indeed the FFIRI decision, then it is done under duress and to ease the pressure. Team Melli coach has been chosen elsewhere. People know where and how the head coach was selected. It is clear that a coach who is criticized and opposed by all of Iran is selected and disrespected by Iranian coaches.”

Despite Javad Nekounam’s speculative and self-serving opinion mixed with his bitterness for not being considered for Team Melli head coach (which would have been a true disaster), his unsubstantiated claim regarding Dragan Skocic not being the choice of football federation, is yet another of many that believe that FFIRI is toothless and executing the Ministry of Sports orders rather than being an independent self-governing Non-governmental Organization. The lack of strong leadership since Mehdi Taj allegedly resigned, was a big opportunity for the ministry to have its day and run the football federation as it wishes.