Tag: Marc Wilmots

Mehdi Taj “National coach is better for Team Melli”

Mehdi Taj, in a TV show, said that a national coach is much better than a foreign import to lead Team Melli.

This represents a U-turn and a change of heart from a person who has always advocated the recruitment of foreign coaches for Team Melli.

Taj admitted that the federation’s limited financial resources are a big obstacle against recruiting a foreigner. He emphasized the FIFA rule regarding the contract between coaches and football federation members of FIFA, in which a two months arrear and no payment by the federation not only gives the coach the right to unilaterally cancel the contract but also claim the rest of the contract period dues. It is believed that Marc Wilmots used this rule against FFIRI and managed to win the case. The remainder of the contract wages amounted to nearly 2 million Euros. Incidentally, it was Mehdi Taj who recruited Wilmots, and it was also Taj who failed with his administration to honor the contract with the Belgian coach by not paying him for over two months citing a lack of cash flow.

“We are considering domestic and foreign coaches,” the head of the football federation said about the final option for the national team: “There are two different views, one side has reservations about recruiting a domestic coach, while the other side fundamentally believes in them ( local coaches). We have always been proud of our domestic coaches. Mohajerani, Parveen, and Daei have worked hard for the nation, and recently, Nekounam and other coaches have also been there.”

“In the foreign dimension, for example, Queiroz has helped us a lot. We are under sanctions and are unable to pay a foreign coach,” Taj said, referring to international banking sanctions. If we have cash here, it is not practical to transfer it abroad. One of the defendants in the Wilmots case is me and other members of the board of directors. We were accused because we could not pay him. Calderon, Branco, and Stramaccioni are other examples who left and filed court cases against us because they didn’t get their money.”

It is clear that the next coach of Team Melli is going to be domestic. That cannot be good news for Team Melli fans as many believe that Iran’s domestic league has failed to produce any quality coach who is capable of leading the nation at the international level.

Mehdi Taj, The arrogant and condescending head of FFIRI under fire.

In a feeble attempt by Mehdi Taj to cover his own personal shortfalls and those of his administration, the president of the football federation FFIRI gave explanations about the bitter exchanges in a live TV show, the future plans of Team Melli, and the new form of club competitions in Asia suggested by the AFC.

Referring to the results of Iran in the World Cup, Mehdi Taj, said: “The result is always determined on the field, It’s true that we endured big pressure off the field and the players didn’t have the concentration required for such top-level competition, and maybe time will pass and no one will remember what these issues were. Moreover, when we returned to Iran, this important issue (off-field tension) was not discussed much, and how far the team was from the tranquil atmosphere of concentration required for the competition. However, I accept that we failed and I apologize for that. Although no one has seen our apology in the statement of the federation, my colleagues and I had done this with full humility. I believe that under normal circumstances, our team would have advanced with this quality that we have.”

Although he claimed that “we” failed, it was far from a genuine admission in the interview as he was vigorously defending his federation and the work of Queiroz.

The head of the football federation added: “I know that the main discussion these football days is about the issue of Team Melli’s head coach. I want everyone to allow us to make the best decision in this matter. I assure you that the federation and the board of directors will be the trustees of the people and will make the best decision. Our goal is to compensate for this result in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 and, God willing, we will announce our decision on the appointment of the head coach considering all aspects and the good of the national team.”

What Taj claims is not consistent with facts and track records. In his shift, Taj was responsible for two major failures in appointing the Head Coach of Team Melli, one was the disastrous Marc Wilmots, for which he resigned his post before being questioned, and the other was recently in appointing Carlos Queiroz with three months to go to the World Cup!

How would the fans and critics believe that Taj will get it right the third time? Has he gained some superior knowledge in the last few days or weeks, has he attended seminars or consulted with the elites of world football for us to believe that he and his cronies, will get it right this time?

Selection of the Head coach and the coaching team in National teams is a process. FFIRI lacks that process and even if there is written in some obscure manual of FFIRI, it will not be followed. It is the Head of the FFIRI that decides. Not dissimilar to the system that country is run, it is a one-man show here too. The comical act of the Technical Committee that sacked  Dragan Skocic without having the authority to do so, during Misrshad Majedi’s term as acting head of FFIRI, shows how chaotic this federation and the people associated with it are.

Taj finally mentioned a subject he was trying hard to avoid, and that was the TV Sport show that was talk of the town and social media since Thursday. Taj’s arrogance, sarcasm, dark humor, and condescending attitude toward the two presenters, were not received well by the fans and media.

” First of all, I consider it my duty to once again thank the media for their sincere support during the World Cup. My colleagues and I at the Football Federation are eagerly interested in receiving suggestions and criticisms from media friends. Regarding the topics related to appearing on the sports network program, that night I had general expectations about the manner of the questions and the questions themselves, which I don’t want to reveal, but for example, in the discussion of the former head coach of the national team, Mr. Khiabani, could have said “what happened to the Wilmots case? ‘, which I should have answered, instead, Mr. Khabani suddenly said, “Where is the Wilmots case?” Maybe I shouldn’t have said it was in my pocket, but I should have explained the process that I did. I fully explained that the Wilmots case has resulted in a penalty against the FFIRI in the amount of 9.2 million euros, because of contract violations.

Regarding the issues raised with Rasul Majidi, the young show host of the program whom Taj clearly insulted, he said: “The reality is that this host is like my own son. I am also interested in him. At the beginning of the World Cup, I spoke only with him in this TV show. I was supposed to go to the studio on the last day. I am interested in them and I sincerely apologize.  Taj who insinuated that Majidi was a novice in football due ro his young age, turned around and said “In the football federation, people of his age do important work. I don’t want him to be upset either.

At the end of that interview, Taj made a strong statement saying that the IRIB has no place in making football policy or questioning who is going to be Team Melli’s coach.

Not only Taj has exposed his weak self and his lack of integrity and true management skills, his arrogance and looking down on people are something that the Iranians have experienced for the first time from this man. The industrialist from Esfahan who comes from a rich family loyal to the regime has truly uncovered his mask.

FFIRI again in trouble with payments, this time it is Skocic.

Skocic’s financial burden is on the shoulders of the Football Federation

The president of the Football Federation has not yet managed to settle the severance pay that is due for the sacked Croat ex-Team Melli coach Dragan Skocic, Mehdi Taj promised Skocic that FFIRI will pay all his dues before he leaves Iran, but there were no settlements nor any payments.

Mehdi Taj decided to terminate Dragan Skocic’s contract after returning to the position of President of the Football Federation so that Carlos Queiroz can be recruited for Team Melli’s bench in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Taj is guilty of creating a catastrophic contract with Marc Wilmots, which caused Iranian football to be fined 3,325,000 euros plus a 5% per year delay fine, the heaviest case in FFIRI history .

When he was faced with demands of the Belgian coach to terminate his contract, Taj could not agree on terms with Wilmots. He even took two million euros in cash to Istanbul to pay off the Belgian who was by far the weakest foreign coach that Team Melli has had for decades but failed to satisfy the Belgian’s lawyers.

 After Taj’s proposals to settle with Wilmott failed, he returned to Tehran empty-handed. Conveniently, Taj resigned his post claiming ill health, thus avoiding the consequences of the FIFA fine and passing the torch to the next leader of FFIRI.

Now Taj is in another project that seems to be completely similar to what he had played with Wilmott, this time it is Skocic. Last Thursday, Dragan Skocic decided to leave Iran, even though he has not yet received his salary and other compensations, in order to partially satisfy the Croat who intended to return to Croatia in peace, Taj made some promises. The agreement reached shows that the former head coach of the Iranian national team is going to receive all his demands from the football federation before the start of the 2022 World Cup, but if this issue is not fulfilled, he will file a case against FFIRI with FIFA which will obviously include damages, delays, and other claims on top. FIFA also has an option to fine FFIRI for breaches of contract.

Mehdi Taj’s list of accusations are made public.

A list of accusations against Mehdi Taj, the president of the Football Federation, was announced.

 The Minister of Sports was quizzed about the reasons why the regulatory authorities including the judiciary, and the public prosecutor’s office have not publicly announced any affidavit or accusations against the 3 candidates for the FFIRI presidency before the elections.

According to the minister, there was in fact an immediate response from  Tehran Prosecutor’s Office when asked about the alleged accusations against all three candidates as the Public Prosecutor responded on the same day that the inquiry was sent.
According to the documents obtained, the Tehran prosecutor announced in an official letter on 24th August 2022, six days before the election of the FFIRI, that legal cases has been filed against all the 3 football candidates in the Tehran prosecutor’s office.

According to this report, Mehdi Taj was accused of abusing his job position, use of fake documents, creating a false report with the intention to mislead and falsify facts, illegally occupying state property, employing a person on the payroll of the federation (Haider Baharvand) against the law (barring the employment of retirees), illegal seizure of public funds, unauthorized seizure of financial resources (claims) of the Federation from the contracting companies and service providers,

Also, he was accused of negligence in dealing with public funds and misappropriation leading to the wastage in the amount of around 10 million Euro, destruction of state property, defrauding the country’s monetary and currency system, general fraud, false reporting, collusion in government contracts, forgery of official documents. These are all related to the contract of the former head coach of Iran’s football team (Wilmots).

Based on those accusations, a court case has been filed in the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office. A restraining order was issued by the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office for Mehdi Taj on the charges aforementioned.

The case related to Marc Wilmots is under further investigation as an additional report by the General Inspection Organization, an auditing authority, on the charge of embezzlement of public funds is still being finalized.

In this regard, some organizations, including the student mobilization of the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Sciences of Tehran University, have filed a case with the Head of the Judiciary, demanding that the Judiciary investigate Mehdi Taj.

At this stage, these are all accusations that the courts need to convene to issue verdicts. The Sports Minister did not comment on the clause that mandates that a candidate for the Presidency of the Football Federation must be free of all legal cases and not been accused or involved in any investigation including misappropriation of funds, a clause that has excluded various candidates from elections in various organizations and NGO’s.

Prior to the elections of the FFIRI, many media reports were confident that Mehdi Taj will not be cleared to run this election because of the list of accusations against him by various institutions and his violations of the rules while at the helm of the FFIRI. His premature exit from the federation when he was the head of FFIRI was a clever escape route to kill the investigations which would have found him guilty of several violations. His departure, however, only managed to delay the inevitable.

The allegation list is interesting as many of the items concern public funds that the government controls, confirming the generally held view that the FFIRI is just an extension of the government.


CAS Ruling on Wilmotts case starts a war of words and finger pointing!

After the Supreme Sports Court CAS ruled against Iran’s Football Federation and ordered that the former head coach of Team Melli , Marc Wilmots, be awarded euros 3,300,000 in compensation, Mehdi Taj, the former head of the FFIRI, defended his performance in the case and accused others of shortcomings that lead to this heavy fine.

Mehdi Taj’s reasonings, however, were far from convincing and lacked factual data which prompted rections from the media, legal experts, and members of the parliament. Although Taj failed to clarify the ambiguities in his own defense while at the helm of the federation that recruited the failure Wilmots, it did, however, uncover some insight into how this federation was poorly managed.

Taj’s main defense against the breach of contract is the US sanctions on Iran. The non-payment of Wilmott’s wages was due to his federation’s inability to honor the contract. However,  faced by many questions on the authenticity of his claim, he could only offer one answer to how was it that the previous coach, Carlos Queiroz was getting his wages regularly despite the same US sanction prevailing, by suggestiong that the US Sanctions got worst in the case of Wilmott’s  !!

This issue drew criticism from MP Ehsan Ghazizadeh Hashemi, who claimed that the compensation for the Wilmots case should be paid by the members of the former Board of Directors of FFIRI including Taj as they were accountable and culpable for such public funds wastage and misappropration.

Meanwhile, Hamid Sajjadi, the Minister of Sports and Youth last night, called the case of the former head coach of Team Melli as “Wilmots Tsunami” and said: “What we saw in the report is like the tip of the iceberg that is sticking out of the water.” In our meetings, I named it “Wilmots Tsunami “.

Despite the accountability of Mehdi taj and his responsibility for the failure of Wilmot both on and off the field, Taj managed to sneak in and register his name as a candidate for the new federation board and the Presidency of FFIRI!

The lack of accountability and due process has allowed many corrupt managers to get away with murder in Iran. The reality is that the country is infested with corrupt, inept, and/or incompetent managers who run public organizations to the ground with immunity. FFIRI seems to attractct all the shady elemnts.

FFIRI to pay Wilmots a further 3 Million Euros

The former head of the Legal Department of the Football Federation said: “The ruling of the Wilmots case has been issued and we have to pay an amount of around 3 million euros to this coach.”

According to Mehr reporter, Safiullah Faghanpour said ” as a result of the former Team Melli coach filing a claim demanding payment of 6 million Euros in back pay and damages, FIFA Disciplinary Committee ruled for the Belgian coach and order FFIRI pay Wilmott an amount of 6 million euros after, however, after FFIRI appealed against the amount, the case was sent to arbitration at CAS, which issued its verdict and the amount was reduced to 3 million Euros.

Faghanpour said: “There was a lot of concern here and everyone thought that we would be condemned in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but I consider what we achieved as a great success !!. The only case that we have won over the years in international tribunals is the Wilmots case, which was in CAS and the verdict was broken.”
Faghanpour mentioned that it (CAS) reduced the amount of Wilmots against Iran, but it could have reached about 12 million euros. Now the Supreme Sports Court has disregarded the claim and made the final payment due to the coach to less than 3 million euros.

Faghanpour claimed that this was a great success for the Federation and in a bizarre statement, claimed: “Now we have to pay an amount that is not very significant! ”  Faghanpour, who was talking to “Good Morning” TV show, was asked whether this decision on Wilmots’ case is final and official? He emphasized: “Yes, the verdict was issued. Probably, it will be announced this week. What I said is certain.”

Faghanpour then went on to congratulate himself on the victory !!! “I must congratulate the success we achieved in the Supreme Court of Sports!

The Belgian Marc Wilmott was appointed as the head coach of Team Melli in 2018 replacing Carlos Queiroz. He was in the job for less than 6 months and received 2 million euros from the Football Federation before losing to Bahrain and Iraq. Based on Faghanpour’s words, Wilmots has earned around 1 million euros each month in his short and disastrous time in Iran, yet he has the audacity to congratulate himself and the FFIRI for not paying 12 million euros as he claimed!

In contrast, The Croatian Dragan Skocic, whose contract is in local currency draws a salary of nearly US$100,000 a month, i.e. only 10% of what Wilmott’s earned.

It is a desperate time for Iran’s Football management and leadership. It seems the FFIRI as an organization attracts lots of charlatans, incompetent and inept people who do nothing but harm football and the country’s reputation, not to mention damage its finances. One person who is responsible for the Wilmotts debacle, Mehdi Taj is putting his name forward as a candidate for the Presidency of the FFIRI in the coming election next month!



Pashazadeh :”Turmoil in Team Melli camp, is the result of weak leadership”

The story of the sacking of Skocic and then a U-turn by the federation is still reverberating in Iran and across many other countries. It has sent a shock wave among senior footballers and former Team Melli players, who one after another criticized both the federation and some players for their unseemly act against the coach who qualified them for the World Cup 2022

One of those who voiced his disdain at what is happening is the Former Team Melli defender Mehdi Pashazadeh. In an interview with Mehr News, he said  ”  These events have done nothing but harm to the reputation of Iranian football and our standing in the international arena is becoming subject of ridicule, especially amongst our World Cup opponents. Those who caused and create these situations can wait and see what is the end results of their behavior in Qatar.”

The former national football player said: “After the departure of Wilmots, the national team was in a precarious and tricky situation, and at that time, few people were willing to risk their career and reputation to take over the leadership of the national team on the brink of elimination from the World Cup. However, Skocic took that risk, which is precisely why he should be given much credit and respect. The results of the qualifiers with Wilmots were abnormal and it was clear that things were not going well in Team Melli camp. Under normal circumstances, obtaining such results was beyond belief. However, with the same squad under heavy pressure, Skocic was able to lead Team Melli to the World Cup. If his services were not required beyond that, it should have been done immediately but honorably after the qualification, with a new plan in mind, and a stronger coach should have been chosen. Especially since our qualification to the World Cup was confirmed halfway through and there was an ample opportunity to plan ahead and negotiate contracts”


Pashazadeh continued: “Unfortunately, Skocic was not treated correctly. Once they decided in their own mind that he was not competent, they fired him but after 10 days they retained him again, and this act was detrimental to the personality and reputation of this coach or any other coach for that matter.  Personally, if I were Skocic, I would not have come back after these behaviors.”

The former Bayer 04 LeverkusenSC Fortuna Köln (Germany), SK Rapid Wien, and SK Sturm Graz (Austria) player concluded ” These problems have appeared in our football recently as a result of weak leadership at the head of football in recent years, and this mismanagement has directly reflected on Team Melli and of course other national teams in the junior and lower age groups. Allowing players to bad-mouth coaches and dictate whom they want is the beginning of the demise.”


Azizi Khadem warning on the defining moments for Iran’s football.

Shehab Azizi Khadem, the head of FFIRI, discussed the dilemma of the statute of the football federation and the deadline of FIFA for the approval of the new law by the government and the parliament:

“The most important issue that I should mention is the charter of this federation. We have a very big challenge ahead. I hope some people do not complicate this issue for no logical reasons. Approval of the amended statute has been granted by the previous government. The esteemed government of the time, the General Assembly of the Football Federation, and FIFA have all approved it and now the final process is seeking the approval of Majlis (parliament). FIFA will demand the endorsement by March 1st, 2022. The exchanges we had with Infantino in Qatar, confirm that FIFA is determined that this amendment must be approved and put in motion and they have set a deadline that we have to answer to by March 1st. I hope that the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) will be able to appease the nation with tact and rationality. “

Azizi Khadem added: “If the Iranian national team qualifies for the World Cup as it rightly deserves and expected, it coincides with the FIFA deadline. In February, Infantino will come to Tehran, which will coincide with the qualification of Team Melli. In these difficult circumstances, we hope to have harmony and not to complicate the issues further.”

The president of the federation said: “Now that the amended statute has been approved by three regulators, General Assembly of Football Federation, FIFA and the government of Iran, we expect that Iranian football will not go into turmoil in the fourth and last step of the process.”

I need to declare this important and crucial issue to ensure that everyone is aware of the facts and progress of a matter which is critical for the nation and its football.

Azizi Khadem thus made it clear that the onus is on the Majlis to approve the new FFIRI Constitution which is in line with the FIFA recommendation and guidelines. The highlight of the amendment is for the independent operation of the Football Federation and the non-interference of the government into its affairs and decision-making process.

Referring to Wilmot’s claim for compensation and damge case in the CAS court, the Head of FFIRI said: “The progress of Wilmot’s case, is that a hearing will be held next week by the legal team. Next Tuesday is a meeting with Wilmot’s legal team. I hope we will be able to reduce the amount of compensation demanded and the final vote will be issued in January.”

Iranian Females in Azadi

Fans are still awaiting on the verdict on Azadi.

The President of FFIRI Shahabuddin Azizi Khadem declared that the verdict in the case of Marc Wilmots against his federation in the Supreme Court of Sports is still pending: “We are currently waiting. We have time until the 29th of October. We hope that what is in the interest of national football will come to fruition. No Iranian is willing to waste even a penny from the pockets of these people in a contract in which this federation was not involved!!”

The remark is quite controversial coming from the head of the federation that is supposed to have signed a contract for the coach of Team Melli. All football federations of the world select, employ, and sign contracts with coaches to manage their national teams. What transpires from Azizi Khadem is that the FFIRI had no say in the contract of the Belgian coach. That raises many questions including who forced this unsuited coach on Team Melli ? and worst, why did the previous head of the FFIRI, namely one Mehdi Taj accept this failure of a coach?

Azizi Khadem continued “We hope the final verdict is not damaging to Iranian football rights.”

Regarding the introduction of video referee assistance (VAR) technology to Iran, he said  “The information that I have is that the managers of the relevant company will arrive in Tehran tonight for study and planning. They will be in Iran for about 12 days and we have agreed on trials of VAR in four Team Melli games. Necessary instructions have also been given to the league organization to list the stadiums. This is a very important and historic step for the national football, club, and refereeing community to benefit from VAR technology in the near future “

The President of the Football Federation was asked about the chances of allowing female spectators into the stadium for the match against South Korea, He said “Our colleagues are studying all the relevant details and health protocols. I hope the verdict on the presence of the fans in the game against South Korea is positive,  which is an important issue for us. Mr. Kamrani Far had a meeting today regarding the subject and the maximum number of fans allowed, which will be announced by himself.”

Azizi Khadem dodged the original question and refused to commit to allowing females into Azadi stadium. Of course, in Iran, such decisions are beyond the football federation or the Ministry of Youth and Sports authority and jurisdiction.

Iran will be hosting South Korea on the 12th of October in Matchday 4 of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers.

SURPRISE…Dragan Skocic contract expires in 2023!

After achieving qualification to the third round of FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, the head of FFIRI announced on his return from Bahrain that the contract of Team Melli coach has expired and after consultation with board directors of the FFIRI, a decision will be forthcoming.

In an interview with a sports TV show last night in Iran, Dragan Skočić has said that his contract is valid up to 2023 and there is no requirement for any action unless the federation wants him out!

Despite the difficult job of achieving qualification after a disastrous run under the Belgian Wilmots, Dragan Skocic’s fate as Head Coach was put under question by the leader of Iran’s football federation.

While the Football Federation is said to be reluctant to continue working with Skocic, the Croatian coach insists he has a legally binding contract until 2023 and that the federation can only terminate his contract if Iran fails to qualify for the World Cup. In his interview, the Croat coach stated that his contract is simple and concise, he also mocked the contract of his predecessor Marc Wilmots, while saying that his contract figure is not as high as Wilmots.

“I am still the head coach of the Iranian national team and I have a contract,” said Skocic, who appeared on Channel 3 last night. “The fact that I am here and I talk to you in person means that I have not gone away and I have a contract. Of course, my contract is not as expensive as Wilmots’. The problem of deciding on my contract is not a big problem either.”

In response to the question of whether the contract was not until the end of the second qualifying round of the World Cup as claimed by Shahab Azizi Khadem, the head of FFIRI, Skocic emphatically said “NO”. He elaborated further ” My contract is valid until 2023, but the contract stipulates that if we do not advance to the next round or fail to qualify for the World Cup, the contract will be terminated. My contract is until 2023, but it is performance-based. My contract is available. I am telling you the facts.”

“My contract does not contain too many clauses and it is compact. The Wilmots contract, on the other hand, needs to be reviewed several times by experts to understand, if that, but my contract is concise. They can replace me whenever the federation thinks I’m not good enough.”

Asked if he has talked to the president of the FFIRI?”  Skocic said” I did not talk to the president of the football federation regarding the contract. There was no need to negotiate. “


“How is your relationship with the president FFIRI?” In response, Skočić replied “I have a normal and professional working relationship with the president of the federation. I do not expect a very warm relationship, but we do our job professionally.”

“You are right, but it is not a matter for me to decide,” Skočić said, referring to the fact that he had been speaking the FFIRI president for a long time after Team Melli achieved qualification to the next round but had not negotiated any term of the contract. “I am not the addressee of this question. I have a contract and other issues do not concern me. I am not here to see what the signs and symptoms are,” he said in response to the fact that all of this could be a sign that the federation is unwilling to continue working with him.”

“I did my job well. I have a contract and the management of the federation will decide. They have a responsibility. That’s the whole story. It’s a simple story. I know you want my answer to be more, but that’s all there is to it. “

Skocic on whether this is a normal situation that has not been negotiated with so far and they have not asked him for a plan for the next camp? He said “I had a lot of hard work done. I am proud to be the coach of a national team. My goal is to reach the World Cup. I had a considerable share in this success, but this is no longer my decision.”

Regarding his feelings about these rumors surrounding his future with Team Melli, he clarified ” I am a professional. I want to say from the bottom of my heart that I did not get involved in these matters. After this tournament, I was so tired that I could not even watch the Euro games anymore. I only watched the games of the Croatian national team and I could not think of anything more.”

Skočić, stating that we should look at Iran as one of the strongest teams in Asia, said about Iran’s possible opponents in the next stage: “We are seeded as the leader of our group, Japan being the other. We have to prepare ourselves for every match. It does not matter which team is grouped with us. Our quality is good enough to succeed in the next stage. I did my best and gave it everything I had. I was trusted to deliver and I did I do not worry about what decision is going to be made regarding my future” Skočić said.

“This is not my responsibility. I do not occupy my mind with things over which I have no control upon. My contribution to this success was considerable. I do not like to be pitiful or talk politically. I am ready to continue with the national team because I worked hard for 15 months. If the federation decides otherwise, we should know that I am an ordinary person.”

Besides the persistent stupid questions by the TV anchor, the fact that Shahab Aziz Khadem has clearly lied is quite an embarrassment. He is not the first head of FFIRI that has blatantly falsified the facts and mislead the public as all his predecessors have done so with impunity.  It is a pathetic but accepted fact that leaders and administrators of football federation lie quite often in Iran all in the name of the people of the country!!