Tag: leagues

The Sense of injustice. Mohsen Mosalman & Hossein Kaebi

The crocked FFIRI.

Mohsen Mosalman was considered as one of the brightest young footballers in Iran, destined to stardom in the European leagues in the footpath of Daei , Mahdavikia and Bagheri. Some even regarded him to be a much better talent than Ali Karimi in his senior years

He was the youngest professional players in Iran history at 16 years old in Zob Ahan.  By that time, he has already played for Team Melli U16 and in the following years , he represented his country in all the age group teams all the way to the Omid Team (U23).

Mosalman was and still is , a gifted player and naturally he was picked for Team Melli, but made limited appearances, and scored one goal in his 5 caps.

This player however, had issues on and off the field , enough to irritate the hierarchy and ruffle some feathers. The disciplinary actions against him and some self-inflicted problems, harmed his progress and relegated him from a star in the making to just about, better than average league player.

His misdemeanors varied from being filmed smoking in coffee shops, to attending parties or pictures in social media with girls..

Another wonderkid was Hossein Kaebi. The boy from Khuzestan was an absolute delight to watch as a youngster growing up to become a definite star. He made his debut for Team Melli at 18 years and unlike Mosalman, Hossein Kaebi played for an extended period of time including in the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006. He also played in the Asian Cup 2007.

There was nothing controversial about Kaebi, except for his passion to look good including having Tattoo all over his body or fixing his eyebrows, for which he faced disciplinary action by the ethics and behavior committee of FFIRI

Mosalman conduct is nothing close to controversial, so is Kaebi’s. If it was in Free World, those two would not attract much, if any attention. On field violations would have been dealt with professionally and objectively, as there is no malice, ill intent or violent conducts in their actions. But in a system controlled by religious fundamentalism with absolutely minimal respect to personal freedom and a big brother approach, these two are considered as villains.

A committee for virtue and righteous, has just suspended the two players from all football activities for reasons that are not published and only known to those who penalized the players. There is no appeal. No transparency no rights!.

Hossein kaebi

And if you think that is injustice, have a thought for Mohsen Mosalman who helped Persepolis win the League title last season. In the ceremony by the FFIRI to honor winners and the achievers, in the category of top assists , Mohsen Mosalman was the clear winner with 14 assists for the season. Shockingly, the FFIRI announced that Server Djabarov, the Uzbek player who had a total of 6 assists for Esteghlal, has won the title.!!!

The writing was on the wall to suspend and punish Mosalman.

It is testament to the resolve of the nation that football actually thrives under such injustice.

Ghalenoei condemns “Navad” TV show.


Amir Ghalenoei, the ex-Team Melli coach and the current coach of league leader Esteghlal club, has severely criticized “Navad” TV show and its anchor, Adel Ferdowsipour, for exposing wrongdoings of Iran’s football players and officials.

In the aftermath of “Navad” uncovering of the Shisha smoking by several players and officials of Team Melli U-22 in a Kish Island hotel, where the team was camping for the friendly match against South Korea,  the results of which lead to the suspension of the persons involved , Ghalenoei accused Navad and Ferdowsipour of attempting to discredit footballers and tarnish their name by publicizing their wrongdoings while ignoring their charity works.

Ghalenoei pointed at the recent function when his team’s players visited a hospital specializing in artificial; limbs operations, which did not receive any publicity, according to Ghalenoei.

“When my players do any type of charity work , similar to what Sepahan , Fajr Sepasi  and Tractorsazi players do , it is not reflected in the media , but a few young players smoking Shisha gets much attention” Ghalenoei moaned “Why do they have to highlight such wrongdoing? If only a few people knew about such misdemeanor , and I say that as a person who is totally against smoking , now 20 million knows about it, thanks to Navad ”  referring to the number of audiences that regularly watch “Navad” every week.

“Navad” is a weekly sport show hosted by Adel Ferdowsipour. It is the most popular TV show on IRIB TV network by a large margin and the show that creates substantial advertising revenue for the network due to this immense popularity in Iran. Ferdowsipour, through his bold and skilful investigative journalism has created a large fan base making him arguably, the most influential person in Iran’s complex football politics. But his influence and popularity is not shared by many people in Iranian football circles. Navad and Ferdowsipour is loathed by officials, coaches and players who are exposed or investigated for their misconducts., High profile club bosses and coaches such as Daei and Ghalenoei are regular critics of Ferdowsipour, but the same people who criticize Navad , do not hesitate to use the program as a tribune to advertise their own causes.




Perspolis signs a 9 year old wunderkid from Ardabil.

Perspolis club has signed a 9 years old Iranian kid from Ardabil on a 10 years contract.

Amir Hossein Hajizadeh (b0rn 2004) , who shot to instant fame after a clip of his trickery in football was shown in Navad TV show, and subsequently made YouTube,  is believed to be the youngest ever footballer in Iran to sign a semi-professional contract. The boy will continue his normal childhood growing , attending school and playing football with other kids, however , under the term of the contract, Perspolis will supplement his living with extra education (English language tuition) and appointing of a Perspolis coach.

As such , the young Hajizadeh will be playing for Perspsolis until he is 19 by which time the club assumes that they can sell him to a European team if he maintains and develop his footballing skills.

The boy was introduced to the club by Ali Daei, who is an Ardabili himself. Club CEO was quickly off the mark to take advantage and bring the boy under the Perspolis club umbrella.

Damage limitation excercise by Perspolis.


Perspolis management is on the defensive.

Three major events involving Perspolis football club, forced the management of the club into reaction. By the issue of a communique , Perspolis club is hoping to clear its stance , respond to criticism from various sides against it and finally to defend both the coach Ali Daei and the CEO Mohammad Rouyanian.

The catalyst was the events of Sepahan vs. Perspolis match in the league, a match where Perspolis lost 2-0. The whole fracas started in the first few minutes of the match in Esfahan, when the referee awarded Sepahan a penalty and handed Maysam Hosseini the defender who committed the foul, a red card for kicking a Sepahan player. Apparently before that kicking incident, there was a scuffle with pushing and pulling between Hosseini and Sepahan and Team Melli defender Shojaa Khalilzadeh. Perspolis claim that the foul was initially committed by Khalilzadeh and he should have been yellow carded. Neither the referee nor the linesman did notice the original alleged foul due to the large number of players in the Perspolis box. However, what Ghahremani saw was a clear kick by Hosseini , which was confirmed by the TV camera. Daei hit the roof when he saw his defender being dismissed, but that was nothing compared to his reaction in the post-match press conference. Daei accused the referee of corruption and bias, claiming that he knew that Ghahremani will lean towards Sepahan from the night before. Based on those serious allegations, FFIRI investigated the whole affair demanding evidence and material witness from Perspolis. Yesterday, the verdict was out, at least provisionally. FFIRI disciplinary committee suspended the referee and his two assistants plus two Perspolis personal, but for events that were not directly related to the Sepahan match.


The second event came during and after Perspolis match against Saba in the city of Qom.  There is no love lost between Saba coach Mohammad Mayeli-Kohan and Perspolis coach Ali Daei. Their long running feud is a well-covered general knowledge in Iran as both take each opportunity to have a go at each other , although the records shows that Mayeli-Kohan more often than not , is the provoker of these tongue slashing .

Before the match, Mayeli-Kohan has expressed his concern about Ali Daei’s tactics and the methods he is employing to influence referees. Without naming Daei, Saba coach said that attacking referees in the media, accusing them of corruption without producing evidence and tarnishing their image will automatically generate fear factor in the referees and as such, they will feel immense pressure and would be very careful not to upset a team that has clout, influence and support.

Like a well written scenario, the fears and concerns of Mayeli-Kohan of Daei’s methods on influencing the referee materialized during the match. Mayeli-Kohan who was sitting on the bench and did operate in the technical area unlike Daei who was constantly standing and guiding his team, suddenly rushed madly towards the touchline. What triggered that was Daei’s protest against one of the referee’s decision which Mayeli-Kohan took an exception to and thought of it as a classical Daei pressure tactics to influence the referee, which he already warned about before the match started. The two coaches nearly clashed and had to be separated with Mayeli-Kohan seemingly quite graphical and enraged while pointing angry fingers at Daei and the referee.

In the post-match conference and the following days, the two coaches exchanged all sort of accusations reaching a level of mediocrity that has been rarely seen in Iran’s football.  Like always, the opinions were divided about whose fault is this one now. Mayeli-Kohan camp also accused Daei of siphoning money and appointing a family member (his brother, Mohammad Daei) without proper football coaching credentials , as an assistant coach  in Perspolis.  That was probably the last straw for Daei who embarked on an unprecedented verbal attack on his longtime foe. The media, especially those who always seek sensationalism in Iran had a field day quoting the two sides in their publications and fueling the fight.


Then came that famous Carlos Queiroz squad list , when the Portuguese coach of Team Melli included the name of Mehrdad Pooladi in his list, a player who has not played a single game this season and another Perspolis Defender , Hossein Mahini , who has lost his starting place in the team.

Inclusion of these two , not only alienated many players and coaches across the country,  it resulted in noises heard from CEO’s of other clubs, some of whom issued statements against Perspolis and the methods they operate to gain unfair advantage.

With all these affairs backfiring at Perspolis and certainly losing ground and support of many fans including senior ex-players who were perplexed by Perspolis antics, the Club issued the communique  explaining their stance in an attempt to calm the situation and the negative vibes against them.

It was a poor attempt by Perspolis, as much of what was mentioned in the communique was biased one sided opinions rather than facts (like their claim that the referee deprived them of 4 penalty kicks in one match !!!).

The long written press release then went into berating of Mayeli-Kohan for his verbal attacks on the club and its coach. Perspolis refuted Mayeli-Kohan claims that several players are on a one billion toman (Approx. US$ 403,000) contract.  The communique also refused to announce Daei’s contract details and the sum he is receiving and any other players contracts details  claiming that several Iranian clubs have more expensive players than Perspolis .”If these clubs are ready to reveal the figures, then we will do it as well” , mentioned the statement that was not apparently signed by the CEO .

Why FFIRI needs to hang on to Queiroz?

In the past few weeks, Team Melli’s coach Carlos Queiroz had a few issues and grievances concerning the status and the preparation of Team Melli for the 2014 World Cup. Issues such as Team Melli camps , friendly matches arrangement , the scheduling of the league , differences of opinions with Club coaches among many other niggling and frustrating matters created an unpleasant atmosphere around Team Melli .

The result of all that led to Carlos Queiroz publically expressing his frustration to the extent of  even threatening to quit his job. In an interview, Queiroz said that he is not willing to work under this inauspicious environment or facing the hostility of the people who seem to be working against Team Melli’s interest. Another grim statement came from Carlos Queiroz when he said that it did not bother him one bit if Ali Daei or Amir Ghalenoei replace him as Team Melli coach.

That last statement is the one that really interest us here and right now. Whatever one can think of Queiroz, he is still professional coach who is well aware of his working environment and the atmosphere surrounding it.  Perhaps he has heard that Kaffashian and his men are working on their options if Queiroz decided that he has enough and his demands cannot be met by the federation. Queiroz knows that Daei and Ghalenoei, are the closest candidates to the job of coaching Team Melli, in case he resigns. The nomination of those two does not take much intelligence to figure out as the pair coach the two most popular clubs in Iran by far. In this bi-polar football, everything has to revolve the two.

Can the task of Team Melli be safely handed to Ali Daei or Amir Ghalenoei and expect success and honor in Brazil?


The answer is a big question mark. One match on Friday emphasized the vulnerability of Ali Daei’s character and painted a very dim picture of Iran’s footballing legend as a responsible person who can act gracefully under pressure.  The episode started in the early few minutes of the game between Daei’s  club Perspolis and host Sepahan coached by the Croat Krangcar. The referee, Gharemani , awarded a penalty for Sepahan and then red carded the offending Perspolis  defender for kicking an opponent in the box. Whether the referee’s decision was right or wrong is academic and not a subject of our discussion here, it is Daei’s post match conduct and statements that is the subject of interest in this article. What was said by the World highest Scorer in international matches, and a legend in his own right, is certainly a huge concern and puts a big question mark on the character of the person and his ability to be the mentor of Team Melli in the World Cup, if he ever takes over.

Daei , quite well-known for his outburst and a coach who hardly smiles during matches, which is a good indication of amount of stress he endures, has accused the Referee of Sepahan-Perspolis match of bribery. He claimed that he has evidence of Gharemani received bribes from Sepahan and will produce if asked ! A couple of days later, Daei , who many thought was emotional after his team loss to bring such serious accusations at the end of the match was unrepentant. Two days later when it was thought  that he has cooled down, the Perspolis coach said he does not care about the consequences of his accusations as long as he tells the truth.

Amir Ghalenoei, again no stranger to controversy and clashes with referees and the media, was at it again after the derby match. When everyone was talking about How dour and boring the top clash of the league was between his team Esteghlal and Perspolis which ended in yet another goal-less draw, Ghalenoei opened fire on all fronts. One of the most interesting targets of his wrath was ‘Navad’ TV show. Ghalenoei said that Navad, which is by far the most popular on Iran IRIB network, and its presenter, Adel Ferdowsipour is the reason for Iran’s football ills and misfortunes! He also told the critics to go and analyze Team Melli if they dare a team which has not played a decent football at all since the takeover of Queiroz!, according to the ex-Team Melli coach. Ghalenoei bemoaned the fact that during his days of coaching Team Melli he was scorned and blasted by the media, similar thing happened to Daei , but no one is concerned with the current poor form of Team Melli.

Such rhetoric, outbursts and wild claims by the two of the most popular Iranian coaches, does not augur well for any of the two to be considered for Team Melli coaching job. When a coach and leader needs to maintain dignity, composure and grace under pressure, those two have shown very little of it and in a scene such as the World cup , where the whole world is watching ,  it could be truly embarrassing.

This brings us back to Carlos Queiroz. No one claims that Queiroz is perfect but right now he is the best man for the job. Any differences between him and the federation or the league need to be sorted out for the Portuguese to continue all the way to next summer’s world cup. He is tried and tested and compared to the options available from the domestic scene, he is well versed and has better self-control and composure. For the sake of a presentable and respectable Team Melli in the World Cup, it is vital that FFIRI does everything possible within reason and logic, to maintain Carlos Queiroz.  Whether the Portuguese man will endure the pressure is simply another question.