Tag: Kaffashian

Tsunami in football federation!

Mehdi Mohammad Nabi, the Manager of Team Melli is being removed from his position hours before his flight to Australia via Dubai. Mohammad Nabi who is also the Secretary General is being sacked for undisclosed reasons by Kaffashian who seems to be on a mission to cleanse his administration

Farida Shojaei, a member of the executive committee and the head of women football has already been sacked followed soon after by Dr. Hashemian , the head of the Medial Commission of the Federation. Kaffashian also threatened the Head of the Disciplinary Committee Ismael Hassanzadeh !

When asked about his dismissal, Mohammad Nabi refused to comment and maintained silence. Dr. Hashemian reaction was subdued and retrained “I do not need that job nor does my livelihood depend on it. It was a voluntary position that I was asked to do by the federation and I agreed to assist in order to improve whatever I can in football. But the way that they have proceeded in dispensing with my services was highly uncivilized and seriously in poor taste.”

Farida Shojaei & Ali Kaffashian

Mrs. Shojae was even more critical of Ali Kaffashian’s character calling him a person who has no sense of direction, lacks leadership qualities with a serious decision making flaws & weaknesses. “He hardly deals with matters in logical and rational basis. It is usually his mood, perception or gut feeling that has the final say in his decisions. There is no such thing as systematic analysis or methodical review with this man, it is just random reaction to events.”   Shojaei, denied the rumors that the Ministry of Youth and Sports have been after her removal for some time. “All I know and I am sure of, is that Kaffashian has been after me for some time now. He asked me to resign and I refused. He then sacked me from my position because I have dared to challenge him on several issues after we had our differences.”

Seyed Mohammad Hadi Ayatollahei

The last causality of the tsunami that is hitting the Football Federation FFIRI is the Vice-President and the deputy to Kaffashian himself. Seyed MohammadHadi Ayatollahie , claimed that he has already resigned his post and there is no truth of him being sacked. Ayatollahie , hardly a popular man, has been a controversial figure who has been accused of nepotism, poor management and several failures including his role in the Omid Team. He was one of the administrators that the Ministry of Youth and Sports did not approve of , hence the moves to oust him.

Despite the significance of these moves, which smells like a semi-revolution remotely controlled by the men in the Ministry of youth and sport , Kaffashian seems to be solidifying his position. Despite his wayward style, lack of clear vision and poor managerial & communications skills, he seems to have a good grip power in the federation. He is so confident of his position that a couple of days ago , he dared anyone to outstrip him from his position. Spoken with the arrogance of a full-fledged dictator, Kaffashian said “he does not fear any challenge from the general assembly, nor is there any challenges forthcoming his way.”  Strong words from Kaffashian, but in Iran football there are always surprises, some unimaginable ones, others too comical to believe..

Dr. Ahmad Hashemian

Somehow, things are never clear cut nor black or white in Iran’s football. One day the guy is a CEO of the most popular club in the nation, the next day he is in the notorious Evin prison.  On the other hand a guy who has just been released from the same Evin prison , suddenly becomes the Technical director of the Omid Team ! The dramatic events makes a good reading material for the hungry media , though.

The urgent matter as far as Team Melli is concerned, is to look for a Manager, whose administrative job is vitally importance in a team. That said, Mohammad Nabi hardly painted a good picture of himself as a proper professional manager for Team Melli by his neglect of duty through absenteeism on several occasions.

Pooladi & Rafei cleared to join Team Melli squad.

Mehrdad Pooladi

Mehrdad Pooladi , Team Melli’s left back currently playing for Al Shahniya club in Qatar and Soroush Rafei the young Foolad Khuzestan player have been granted permission by the armed forces to join Team Melli squad.

After a series of disappointing turns of events and depressing news around Team Melli in its preparation for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup 2015, this has to be the brightest news of them all. With the absence of Pejman Montazeri who misses the tournament due to injury, Pooladi’s inclusion in Queiroz squad is quite vital. Mehrdad Pooladi was the best player in Team Melli 3 matches in the World Cup according to FIFA technical analysis. His National Service problem prevented him from being selected for duty for Team Melli.

Most of the credit for the inclusion of Pooladi and Rafei must go to the Head coach Carlos Querioz whose personal efforts and demands, including a straightforward and serious discussion with the Minister of Youth & Sport has yielded result. The latter writing to the Armed Forces and requesting the release of the two players for national duty as football players.

The two persons who should have done the most to release Team Melli players, Kaffashian and Mohammad Nabi were quite passive about the issue and maintained a stance where they kept declaring that they are abiding by the law, without making any efforts to challenge or request any alternative options from the authorities to seek the two players release.

Soroush Rafei

Although Soroush Rafei is a rookie and is not expected to play a major role in the Asian Cup in Australia,  his inclusion is vital for the long term planning of Carlos Queiroz future Team Melli build up.

Team Melli is supposed to fly to Australia via Dubai this evening for the last part of the ir training camp which includes a friendly match against Iraq in Sydney.

The expected shock : Iran U23 elimnated from the Asian Games.

In what is probably the worst day for Iran’s football in decades, the elimination of the football team from the Asian Games men’s football competition was confirmed after Vietnam defeated Kyrgyzstan 1-0 this morning. With this result, Vietnam (6 points) and Kyrgyzstan (1 point) have qualified for the next round while Iran is out on goal difference.

The last time Iran was eliminated from the group stages was in the Asian Games Hiroshima, Japan in 1994 when Iran marginally failed to qualify after winning 1 match drawing 2 and losing 1.

The Asian Games regulations requires the teams or the individual to leave the Games accommodation within 24 hours, but an angry reaction from under pressure Kaffashian and the Iranian IOC , resulted in orders for the football team to leave the Olympic Village immediately and catch the first plane home.

The inquest in this shameful exit will no doubt be carried out, but we seriously doubt that anyone or any group will take the blame or accept accountability. The coach Nelo Vingada accepted the blame for the defeat but already declared that he will not resign!

Kaffashian has stated that other teams are getting stronger, which pretty much means that Iran can be defeated by any Asian team so there is no need to get excited about defeats, if one accepts Kaffashians mentality!

In the midst of all this, the real effect is on the fans of team Melli who passionately follow and support their teams but in return, they all getting abysmal results followed by a thorough packages of justifications from the “Merchants  of Speech and Preaching ”.


Iran Football performances in the Asian Gems Men Football competition.

1951 New Delhi, India                – Silver Medal

1954 Manila , Philippines            – DNP

1958 Tokyo, Japan                    – Eliminated from group stage (Worst ever results)

1966 Bangkok, Thailand               – Eliminated from group stage 

1970 Bangkok, Thailand               – Eliminated from group stage

1974 Tehran, Iran                    – Gold Medal

1978 Bangkok, Thailand               – DNP

1982 New Delhi, India                – Quarter Finals ( lost to Kuwait 0-1)

1986 Seoul, South Korea              – Quarter Finals ( lost to S. Korea on penalties)

1990 Beijing, China                  – Gold Medal

1994 Hiroshima, Japan                – Eliminated from group stage   (5 points in 5 team group)

1998 Bangkok, Thailand               – Gold Medal

2002 Busan, South Korea              – Gold Medal

2006 Doha, Qatar                     – Bronze Medal

2010 Guangzhou, China                – Fourth place

2014 Incheon, South Korea            -Eliminated from group stage   

Ali Daei is sacked as Persepolis coach. Turmoil continues!

The turmoil at the most popular team in Asia has continued after today’s announcement by the Persepolis chairman, that Ali Daei has been relieved of his duties as Persepolis head coach

Hamid Derakhshan is appointed in a caretaker capacity.

Persepolis has been embroiled in various problems on and off the field for years. The Ministry of Youth and Sport which has direct control on the club has been directing the affairs and changing many personnel after the sacking of Mohammad Rouyanian, who is now believed to be in prison awaiting a trial for corruption.

The Ex Sepahan CEO Rahimi was appointed as the new CEO of Persepolis replacing Rouyanian ,  A complete change of board members was followed and a person by the name of Siyasi was selected as Chairman.  Siyasi, translated from Farsi means political, and as it turned out , that was the only thing he was concerned with. Interestingly enough , very few of the new Persepolis board had much footballing pedigree except for watching matches on TV according to one sarcastic critic.

 The bad results on the field culminated in the sacking of Daei , however , the CEO Rahimi refused the order of the sacking originated from the chairman himself. The conflict between Chairman and CEO resulted in the departure of the latter for refusing to obey the chairman request , which Rahimi said was unlawful as it is the CEO duty to appoint or sack coaches rather than the chairman.

Persepolis financial, managerial , administrative and staff relationships issue has no end. The Ministry have made a right mess of the club by their direct interference,  poor management and control, mostly executed by Amir Khadem . The ex-freestyle wrestling champion. has been given the green light by the Minister to put the house of Persepolis in order and prepare the club for privatization.. However ,  despite the good intentions,  Khadem has failed miserably and the signs are that more turmoil are forecasted ahead.

The turmoil and failures of Persepolis is archetypical and a classic case of where Iran football seriously fails.

Poor management , political interference and incompetent personal at decision-making levels.

Currently, football in Iran is run and managed by a horde of incompetent personnel starting from FFIRI and down to the clubs.

Imagine if FFIRI instead of Kaffashian and his gang , was run by the same Iranian managers responsible for development of Iran’s Volleyball ( Mohammad Reza Davarzani ) or Basketball ( Mahmoud Mashhoun)!

FFIRI denies appointment of Team Melli assistant coaches.

News of internal disagreement in FFIRI has surfaced in the open in regards to the current situation of Team Melli.

After the failure of the Kaffashian to conclude the contract with Queiroz, number of members of the FFIRI “Technical and Football Development Committee” expressed their concern and discontent with the current Team Melli situation and believe that time is at premium for Iran’s honorable and respectable representation in the Asian Cup. Those who were concerned , suggested that Kaffashian/FFIIRI should appoint temporary coaches for Team Melli at the assistant-coach level , to start the ball rolling for Team Melli training program.  This arrangement would address the situation until the head coach is appointed and commences his work.

Essential part of the duty of these coaches ( 2 or 3 Iranian coaches)  will be to set up training camp and commence training with the current Team Melli squad including playing friendly matches. That would minimize the impact of wasting precious time up to the commencing of the AFC Asian Cup 2015.  

However, FFIRI has issued an official statement denying the suggestion of appointment of any Iranian assistant coaches or any intention to do so in the near future.

As such the FFIRI has put an end to any ambitious plans of action by the Technical and Football Development Committee to counteract the effects of the frozen activities of Team Melli.

Kaffashian “Our agreement with Queiroz is at 95% now”

Team Melli fan should be rejoicing at the news that Kaffashian and Queiroz have reached 95% agreement on contract negotiation. That is a 5% increase from the last figure that Kaffashian has publicly provided about a fortnight ago. Regardless to that , the signing ceremonies will be conducted soon, according to the head of FFIRI.

Carlos Queiroz arrived in Tehran for another shuttle visit to check on his demands and see if the incumbent football federation president has influenced his paymasters and convinced them to yield to the Portuguese demands else doomsday for Team Melli.

The saga of this long negotiation between the two parties has prolonged beyond the reasonable level to a degree which is certainly detrimental to Team Melli’s preparations program for the AFC Asian Cup 2015.  Queiroz has masterly read Kaffashian’s hands and knows very well that he (Kaffashian) has not prepared himself for any alternatives. Queiroz is now exerting maximum pressures on the federation to get all his demands and particularly on the financial aspects.

After today’s meeting between the two parties, Queiroz came out as the happier man saying that “we have reached agreement and all the outstanding issues and misunderstandings have been ironed out between me and Kaffashian”

However, that was not what Kaffashian said as he mentioned that 95% agreement has been reached, which to the common man means some sort of disagreements. Kaffashian, however, added that they will be going ahead and sign the contract soon. Despite some reporters insisting on getting a definite date from Kaffashian, he declined to provide one.

It is not clear if Queiroz will go on holiday after the signing of the contract as he demanded, or start working and earn his money. 

Snobish IRIB disputes FFIRI figures in demands for TV rights.


In a letter to the football federation , Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) has dismissed the football federation demands on the TV rights and offered its own figure.

After demanding a fee equivalent to US$ 68 million from IRIB and the threat by Ali Kaffashian that unless the broadcaster pays up , TV cameras and crews will not be allowed in the stadiums, IRIB where unperturbed and ignored Kaffashian’s threat (then again , nobody takes him seriously , it seems)

The head of IRIB responded to the incumbent football boss reminding him of the lawful state and legal obligations.

“IRIB is the sole service provider of the Radio and Television services and stations in Iran. This right is mandated by the country’s constitution. The football federation in no position to disobey such law. We like to remind you that the IRIB through decades of excellent coverage, has played a major role in popularizing the sport of football in the country , without which the sport would have not reached such a stature” IRIB responded.

“However , as to help the football federation , IRIB is willing to pay the equivalent of US$ 8 million as a token of support.”

In reality , IRIB is saying that it needs not to pay anything to broadcast the football matches, as it is the sole provider. There is no other option for TV coverage unless there is a change of law. Understanding this point and making it quite clear to Kaffashian , the IRIB absolute and unequivocal Monopoly means that it can legally refuse to pay the federation and stop broadcasting football matches.

Everyone knows that suspending TV broadcast of football events will be disastrous for football in Iran, which at the moment is not very popular with the Iranians due to multiple negative events news , strong suspicions of wide spread corruption, under the counter payments, discovery of fake “Military release certificates, and other violation of many other laws by clubs and players.


The FFIRI demands and claims and the refusal of IRIB to budge is becoming an annual ritual. FFIRI never acted on its threats to ban the camera crew, and IRIB know that fact pretty well. Being the monopoly , IRIB is pretty confident that it , rather than FFIRI will dictate the conditions, the payments and write the rules.

MBC has signed a 10 years agreement to cover the Saudi Arabian football league. The contract is worth US$ 1 Billion for 10 years. According to AFC analysis, the Saudi league has the second best in Asia while Iran is the fifth. However , in attendance figure , Saudi Arabia is way behind Iran.

Team Melli to meet Korea Rep. in Friendly on November 18th.

As part of the two teams preparation for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Iran will be hosting Korea Rep in Azadi on November 18th, 2014.

The news was confirmed by a Korean source, however no conformation from the Iranian side has been reported although Kaffashian mentioned some times ago the possibility of a friendly against Korea if Queiroz gives his approval.

Both the teams played in the FIFA World Cup 2014 as Asian representatives and both ending their campaign with  disappointing results, as they were eliminated after finishing the bottom of their respective groups. However , the similarities and the differences in mentality and approach top progress ends there between the two nations.

South Korea is currently without a coach as  Hong Myung-Bo resigned nearly three weeks ago ( July 10th) after the former star player apologized for the team’s poor performance and took full responsibility for it at the World Cup in Brazil. Hong has faced mounting criticism after South Korea were eliminated from the World Cup by finishing last in the four-team Group H.

South Korea were defeated 1-0 by Belgium, 4-2 by Algeria and drew 1-1 with Russia.
No such problem for Iran , of course ,  as a similar result to the Koreans in the World Cup (2 defeats and a draw, last in the group with 1 solitary goal while Korea scored 3 goals) , had exactly the opposite effect on the Iranians. That mediocre result elevated the stature of their coach to even a higher degree of admiration and respect than before. Such admiration for his work is reflected in the new contract, which is the highest ever paid by an Iranian football federation for a coach in the history.

Queiroz giving the Korean coach a piece of his mind.

There is no love lost between the Koreans and Queiroz. The last time these two teams met in Ulsan , Ghoochannejad scored the only goal to assure Iran a direct qualification to the World Cup , while the Koreans waited nervously for the news of the match in Tashkent where Uzbekistan was defeating Qatar 5-1. One goal short of making it , Uzbekistan missed out again while the Koreans qualified. After the match was finished , Queiroz went towards the Korean bench and hell nearly broke loose when the Portuguese coach taunted his counterpart Choi Kang-Hee.

The tension between the two teams started at the coaches level well before kick off as the South Korean coach Choi Kang-Hee  vowed that Queiroz would be watching the World Cup from his home in Portugal. Son Heung-Min, , the South Korean’s player  promised to “make life painful” for Iran and to force their captain to cry “tears of blood”.

The Korean fans pelted Queiroz with objects and there were calls to file a complaint against Iran head coach  to FIFA accusing Queiroz of provocation and intimidation. The Korean FA refused to pursue the matter any further , preferring to maintain the cordial relation it has with Iran lasting many decades.
At the end , it was the Korean coach Choi Kang-Hee, who sat home watching the World Cup on his Samsung TV as he resigned his post following the criticism from the Korean media and fans who always demand success and high standards.

Negotiations with Queiroz are still alive but approaching the decisive round.

While Carlos Queiroz has maintained complete media silence on the progress of negotiation or lack  of it , with FFIRI , Kaffashian has revealed some interesting details of the various conditions that has been included in the new proposed contract with Queiroz.

One of the disputed items of the proposed contract is the role of the Technical committee of the federation. According to the bylaws of the federation , this committee consists of football technical expertise whose role is to supervise and administer technical issues of all national teams at various levels. They are also supposed to have an influence in the selection of the coaches. The “Technical and Football Development Committee’s” in entrusted task is to conduct audits and submit reports and analysis on  the performance of the teams and coaches.

Kaffashian wants to ensure that Queiroz abides by the federation regulation and respects the bylaws by working closely with this committee. Carlos Queiorz wants nothing to do with it and perhaps consider this committee as a stumbling block directly interfering in his job. Queiroz wants the absolute control with no one breathing on his shoulders questioning him.

Another item of dispute is the Iranian assistant coaches. FFIRI wants 2 Iranian coaches working alongside Queiroz for every foreign coach he elects to have. Querioz and Iranian coaches , do not mix well. Three Iranians have already left him due to various reasons. 

According to ISNA , quoting Ali Kaffashian , the Portuguese coach has expressed his dissatisfaction about publishing of the new 7 items of the contracts, despite assurances that the negotiations will be confidential. On the other hand , the government will entertain the idea of financial backing on the condition of a transparent contract with no secret clauses or under the table payments.  

Kaffashian earlier on Friday , claimed that 9 foreign coaches have applied for the vacant Team Melli job. He declined to name them.

The final round of negotiations between the two parties will be starting in Tehran the next few days.  Failure to reach an agreement , will force Kaffashian to appoint  a local coach for Team Melli. Many local observers believe that FFIRI have been procrastinating in this important  matter and might be caught off guard.  That said , there could have been some secret negotiations to look for an alternative foreign coach to replace Queiroz if the two sides fail to come to terms.






Are we surprised at Team Melli’s results in the World Cup 2014?

It is all over for Team Melli at the World Cup. Iran exited in a disappointing, heart breaking and less than exciting manner. A deserved goal-less draw and a last minute defeat temporarily made us believe and have faith but then the reality hit everyone quite hard in the last match. Emotions aside, Team Melli got what it deserved nothing more nothing less. If it had made the next round ahead of Bosnia or Nigeria , it would have been an injustice to football in general but most importantly it would have falsely covered the derisory state of the football in Iran .

The teams that made the World Cup finals have worked hard, planned well, played number of competitive practice matches and their federations wasted no resources in trying to support their teams to reflect their nations’ pride.  In contrast Team Melli was an ill-prepared team , run by a federation that had comical and acute lack of resources , trained by a coach who had little confidence in his players, and  a coach who was not versatile enough to change tactics when it was most required. Expecting success under these circumstances is pretty much a wishful thinking.

Despite all that, we have to respect the performance of our players who all gave more than 100%. No one can deny the fact that they tried hard and simply went out of steam. Again, with the training regime of Queiroz who spent the majority of the valuable training camps physically pushing his players to the limit , it would have been a matter of time before they would collapse at some stage. Unfortunately, it was the last match and the one that mattered most where Team Melli players came short. Fatigue was killing them, two weeks in South Africa and another in Austria , with very little rest , they flew to Brazil early for another couple of weeks of tough physical training to prepare for the World Cup.

Iran v Nigeria: Group F - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

In essence, Queiroz was trying to build a top physical shape team in a couple of month while such task requires a whole season of regular regimented training with ample rest periods for recovery to build a strong team. The work of a whole season cannot be done in a couple of months only. Bad practices of players also cannot be undone in such a short period.

Could Queiroz have done much better than this ? or maybe that is his ceiling of his capabilities and could not give any better than that.  After the exit from the last World Cup 2010, Cristiano Ronaldo was asked to give a reason for Portugal exit, he pointed at Querioz, Portugal coach and told the reporter to ask him. What he really meant was that Querioz coaching and game plan failed the team. Looking back at the last few months of his work with Iran Team, CR7 may very well had a valid point.


Putting all the blame on the coach is quite unreasonable though, despite the common belief that coaches have to shoulder most of the blames for defeats.  Queiroz and the FFIRI administration did not see eye to eye either and that had negative effect on his work. The Portuguese ruffled a few feathers in Iran by some of the publicity he created  on issues such as the Official kit , Friendly matches , lack of resources and marginalizing of the domestic league. You can safely say that Queiroz does not have many friends in Tehran. His adversaries are aplenty and they come from all corners of football.

The Federation has never been financially strong or organized enough to meet Queiroz’s demands, be it tactical, monetary or logistic. Kaffashian and brazenly for that, never skips a chance for begging money from the government. There is hardly any talk of self-reliance and organizing the federation in a professional way to generate revenue. It is too much of a burden on Kaffashian and his generals, as he prefers the easy way and hand out. So, naturally if there is little money to spend , the expectations should also be limited. 

The irony is that lessons learned from previous failures have hardly been heeded in Iran’s football. The chances are that the status quo will prevail and with it the heart break of one of the finest sets of fans in the world, Team Melli fans.