Tag: Mehdi Pashazadeh

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.”


Kaffashian intends to haggle with Queiroz on his asking price !

Like a true Rug Merchant, Kaffashian announced that he intends to renegotiate the extension of Carlos Queiroz contract but he wants to lower the Portuguese coach asking price.

Kaffashian was referring to the demands by Queiroz and his team of assistant coaches which is estimated to cost the federation a minimum of US$ 4 million per annum just for wages, not including bonuses.

“Both parties have expressed their desire to continue (…) and we are happy to negotiate with Queiroz who gave his new figure for renewal of the contract before the World Cup. However, since his return, he did not come back with a new figure.” Kaffashian said.

“Queiroz has said to us that even if he is offered a higher figure from outside, he prefers to stay with Iran. We, however, cannot afford the figure that he initially demanded and currently working hard to lower it to an affordable figure” Kaffashian added.

Publicly , Queiroz has said that he will not continue working in Iran after his contract expires right after the World Cup because of lack of finances and poor government support. This quote of Querioz has been published by several media outlets, however, Kaffashian is oblivious to that statement by Queiroz or he has a selective hearing syndrome.

A meeting on Saturday between Kaffashian and Querioz to discuss the contract extension did not yield any results. Responding to reporters who asked him about the result of the meeting , Kaffashian said “It was actually a meeting to congratulate Queiroz and not contract Negotiation!”

While it is clear that FFIRI cannot afford the new increased contract fee demand by Queiroz , Kaffashian is hopeful that Goudarzi , the Minister of Sport will come to the aid of his federation and pay the bill. However, the minster has been reluctant to do so. Goudarzi has been quoted publicly that certain condition has to be attached to extension of Queiroz’s contract. While the Minister has said that he has no objection to the FFIRI desire to continue with Queiroz, privately he is not known to be keen on the Portuguese who has bad mouthed the country and created a controversy with his Team Melli kit issue , which the Minister thought was embarrassing for Iran’s image especially before the World Cup.

To add to the prevailing chaos on Queiroz contract negotiation , Kaffashian has introduced a new element in the equation “Of course , we , the management committee, are satisfied with Querioz and agreed to negotiate the extension of his contract . In this sense , we also need to get the views of the federation’s technical committee whose job is to scrutinize and analyze the work of the coaching staff. They are the experts and according to our regulations, they need to approve the coach!”

Asked if the technical committee has submitted any report to the management committee, Kaffashian said “ NO. But we are waiting their analysis report”

Carlos Queiroz himself, remained tight-lipped about his future since his return to Tehran.

Meanwhile , Mehdi Pashazadeh , one of the heroes of World Cup 1998 , was asked about his thoughts on the current status of Team Melli, in an interview by ISNA on the occasion of joining Esteghlal Coaching staff . “We can’t act like some of the rich Arab countries that can afford to recruit the most expensive coaches in the World and then fire them with ease if the results are not satisfactory or if they fail to deliver. We simply cannot follow such strategy; we cannot pay hefty sums for coaches. In regards to Queiroz , and to start with, have we analyze and studied the impact of of Queiroz 3 ½ years’ work with Team Melli ? Has he achieved the objectives and the goals set by the federation? Has his presence added value to the team? In my personal opinion, anyone who claims that Queiroz has improved Iran’s football standard, is not very truthful with himself. If we pay him his new demands, what will we get in return?

The reporter mentions some of the positives of Queiroz , such as building a solid defense and his successful effort in introducing Iranian expatriate players, Pashazadeh said that “ The team was operating defensively for a long time and this same defense he used failed against many teams like Oman and Lebanon. However, the question we need to ask ourselves is , what did this so called solid defense achieved for us us against Bosnia? On the other hand, we have to credit Queiroz for his introduction of players like Dejagah and Ghoochannejad. This was a brilliant piece of work by him that we should appreciate. Both of these players have answered the call of Queiroz because of his name in World Football, but we need to ask ourselves, is this worth paying him US$ 4 million as he demands?

In my opinion, with a sum much less than that, we can employ a local or a foreign coach and spend the rest in the football infrastructure especially at young age levels where the country’s football institutions really needs to support. It is this level that generations of quality players can be built and investments are necessary.”