Tag: Morocco

Futsal News

Hossein Tayebi’s injury is not serious enough to miss the Asian Nations Cup.

Hossein Tayebi, the captain of Iran’s national futsal team and Palma club, was injured during his team’s match against Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga, The match ended with a 1-0 defeat for Palma, raising concerns about his absence in the AFC FUTSAL ASIAN CUP™ 2024, which is scheduled to be held in Thailand. The injury of the captain of the national team is not serious as Palma’s medical crew is trying to prepare him for the next games. According to the announcement of the Futsal Team Melli coaching, the participation of the national team in the first camp and friendly tournament in Vietnam is not mandatory for Tayebi, and the announced list, which includes the players of the domestic league, is supposed to participate in these matches.

Vietnam Four-side International tournament

The International Futsal Quadruple Tournament at the national team level will take place in Ho Chi Minh City. HCM from March 28 to 31. This is the “springboard” for Vietnam Futsal (VN) to activate the World Cup ticket-hunting campaign for the third time in a row. Iran will find this invitational tournament an opportunity to test itself against strong opposition and lay a claim to the title that is held by Japan.

In addition to the Vietnamese team, the three international guests are Iran (Asian runner-up), Morocco (African champion), and New Zealand (Oceania champion – OFC). The teams will play in a round-robin format.


Group A: Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, China PR

Group B: Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Australia

Group C: Japan, Tajikistan, Korea Republic, Kyrgyz Republic

Group D: IR Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan


18 April 2024 – 16:00 – Iran v Afghanistan – Indoor Stadium Huamark, Bangkok
18 April 2024 – 21:00 – Kuwait v Bahrain – Indoor Stadium Huamark, Bangkok
20 April 2024 – 16:00 – Afghanistan v Kuwait – Indoor Stadium Huamark, Bangkok
20 April 2024 – 21:00 – Bahrain v Iran – Indoor Stadium Huamark, Bangkok
22 April 2024 – 21:00 – Iran v Kuwait – Indoor Stadium Huamark, Bangkok

22 April 2024 – 21:00 – Bahrain v Afghanistan – Bangkok Arena, Bangkok

Shamsaei to continue as Futsal head coach!

Iran’s national futsal team returned to Iran on Sunday from Kuwait, after losing to Japan in the finals of the 16th AFC Asian Futsal Cup. Ehsan Usooli, head of Iran’s futsal committee, who was in Kuwait with the national team, was questioned by the media at the airport who were seeking some justifications for the avoidable loss.

in response to reporters’ questions, Usooli said that  Vahid Shamsaei, the head coach, will continue to be employed according to his contract. The contract of Shamsai and his assistants with the national team is until the end of 1401 (March 2023) adding that this contract will probably be extended for another year. Shamsaei has experienced three competitions as Iran’s futsal head coach. First, in the preliminary and qualifying rounds of the AFC Futsal Asian Cup and then the Thailand Continental tournament where Iran lost to Morocco in the final, while the last one was in the appearance  AFC Futsal Asian Cup 2022 where he again tasted defeat in the final match against Japan. Currently, the Iranian national team does not have a special plan after the Asian Championship, and it seems unlikely that the Caspian tournament will be held with the participation of teams such as Russia, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan.

Usooli did not indicate if there will be an internal review of Shamsaei’s performance and failures and his suggestion that Shamsei will be continued as a head coach indicates that there will be no performance analysis.

Shamsaei in a bold but not very wise move completely overhauled the national team getting rid of most of the players that were winners of trophies at the Asian level and performed admirably at FIFA competitions. However, that was a major mistake by the relatively inexperienced coach and it meant that Iran lost its title in a match that a more experienced coach and players would have probably won easily.

Iran Futsal losses to Morocco in the finals.

The Iranian national futsal team lost the final match of the Intercontinental Cup 2022 against the Moroccan team in extra time.

The final match of the 6 sides’ futsal tournament in Thailand was played on Friday, the match ended 4-3 in favor of Morocco.  Morocco scored two goals in the first half, but Iran tied the game in the second half with goals scored by Saeed Ahmed Abbasi and Hossein Tayyebi. Morocco scored again in the 39th minute but Tayyebi responded by scoring the equalizer in the last seconds. The game ended 3-3 in regulation to send the match into extra time.

The powerful  Moroccans scored the fourth goal in overtime depriving Iran of the championship. The Iranian team won against Finland and Vietnam in the preliminary stage. Shamsaei’s boys defeated the host Thailand in the semi-final by a score of 3-2 to qualify for the final. In the ranking match, Thailand finished third by defeating Finland in penalty kicks. Iran’s national futsal team is preparing to participate in the AFC Futsal Asian Cup, which will be held in Kuwait in October. In this competition, Iran is grouped with Indonesia, Lebanon, and Chinese Taipei.

After returning from Thailand, the national team will resume their camp in Tehran and then leave for Kuwait.

Wilmots terminated his contract before the Iraq game!

In a series of bizarre justifications and rhetorics, the head of the Iranian Football Federation says Wilmots had terminated his contract before the game against Iraq!

Mehdi Taj spoke about the recent developments of Team Melli and Wilmots in a radio programme today noon (Friday).“after the World Cup and the Asian Cup, 2019 many believed that the next coach should be young and experienced and must be foreign nationals. The federation first spoke to Spanish coach Julen Lopetegui, who turned down the offer due to the ill health of his father suffering from cancer. After that, we shifted our attention to Hervé Renard  (Morocco’s World Cup coach), but he said he could only accept the offer to coach Iran from June however we needed a coach from the March at least. Finally, we negotiated with Marc Wilmots, who was young enough (50 years old) and had experienced four World Cup as player and coach. He was an asset to the Belgian national team and was a very good choice for Team Melli, and everyone had confirmed him!” Mehdi Taj continued.

“When Wilmots came to Iran, we signed a good deal with him, but we insisted that the amount of the contract should remain confidential and not be transparent (…). It was also stated in a clause that any party unilaterally terminates the contract, will pay damages to the other an amount equivalent to three months wages.”

“It is has been mentioned in various media outlets that the contract with Wilmots and his assistants is valued up to € 5 million, which is untrue and those who have claimes that are liars. In my opinion, the Majlis member who publicized this figure should not talk about these issues and he should think about solving people problem.”

“We signed a contract that included everything, and before we presented it to Wilmots, we consulted three international legal experts, one of whom is a member of the FIFA Appeals Committee,” said the head of the Iran Football Federation. “The figure of Wilmot’s contract is reasonable for anyone who knows Belgian football. It is not right when the lawmaker says this trainer isn’t worth $ 500,000. There are many foreign and domestic coaches in our league who earn more than  $ 500,000.”

“When we signed the contract on May 22, one of the clauses referred to the subject of outrageous US sanctions and that may affect the way we pay our salaries, which led Wilmots to request two days for consultation,” Taj added. “The contract stipulates that if the coach does not receive his entitlements for 2 to 3 months, he can terminate unilaterally. Mark Wilmots terminated his contract before the match against Iraq.

“In the meantime, we have sent several letters to FIFA to pay Wilmots’ money out of their budget, but due to the new sanctions, they have not been able to find a bank, and Wilmots has stated that the federation has no will to pay him. However, we paid 7 days later. Taj added: “At the last meeting, he wanted us to guarantee that payments would not be delayed, but I told him that we should discuss more urgent clauses in view of the termination of his contract before playing with Iraq.”

Branko Ivankovic : ” No intention to coach Team Melli”

Former  Team Melli and Persepolis coach Branko Ivankovic says he has no intention of coaching Iran national football team.

Ivankovic led Persepolis to the Iranian domestic treble last season but left after they failed to pay him his salary, a common practice in Iran in the last few years.

The 65-year-old coach, considered as one of the best foreign coaches of Team Melli, won the gold medal in 2002 Asian Games and led Team Melli to third place in 2004 AFC Asian Cup.

The Croat coached Iran at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where the Team Melli failed to qualify for the next stage after losing to Mexico and Portugal. while drawing with Angola.

“At the moment, I have a lot of offers from Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Japan and China but have not accepted them so far. In Al Ahli, I was fired after three matches, something I never experienced such a thing before. I believe I worked well for the team as it needed some changes in dressing room but this is football and I accept it,” Ivankovic said.

Asked why he left Persepolis at the end of the last season, Ivankovic said, “I had four fascinating years in Iran and I so much miss the country. However, I was forced to leave Persepolis because they didn’t pay our salaries for about one year. At that time, Al Ahli gave me a good offer and I accepted it,” he added.

Persepolis have lost three times in the last 10 matches but Ivankovic says they are favourites to win the title for the fourth time in a row.

“I think Gabriel Calderon needs time in Persepolis because he is a great coach. Persepolis fans love their team and support their players and coaches. In my opinion, Persepolis and Sepahan are vying for the title in the current season,” Ivankovic stated.

Ivankovic believes that Team Melli had a chance to qualify for the next round at the FIFA 2018 World Cup.

“I think (Carlos) Queiroz preferred to defend in Russia. Iran could have played attacking football against Portugal and Span. After beating Morocco, Team Melli should have taken risks,” said Ivankovic .

“Is there any chance to return to Team Melli if he receives an offer?”

“I would prefer to work at club level. I am not going work as a national team head coach,” Ivankovic concluded.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Jittery Spain Face Iran Challenge

Kazan: Spanish playmaker Isco say Wednesday’s match against Iran will determine their World Cup destiny as they seek to register their first win in Russia following a gripping 3-3 draw against Portugal.

Champions in 2010 and among the favourites this year, Spain’s World Cup ambitions were kept in check, almost single-handedly, by a stunning Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.

The draw came just two days after Spain’s campaign was thrown into disarray by the shock sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui following an untimely announcement by Real Madrid that he would join the 13-times European champions after the tournament.

Fernando Hierro, Spain’s sporting director, is now at the helm but barely a week into the tournament La Roja — expected to join Brazil, Germany and France in the latter stages — have endured more drama than they would have wanted or expected.
“It’s a crucial match that will determine our World Cup destiny,” said Isco. “We want to score from the opening minute, even though that won’t be easy.

“We will stick to the style that defines us as a team, but we have to pass the ball around a lot more and maintain possession. If we play quickly across the pitch, the chances will come. I hope we score quickly.”

Iran kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 win against Morocco, thanks to a late own goal by Aziz Bouhaddouz, piling the pressure on Spain at Kazan Arena on Wednesday.

Iran sit top of the pile as the only Group B team with a win so far, an achievement that sparked incredible celebrations in the streets of Tehran and elsewhere throughout the Islamic republic.

Coach Carlos Queiroz concedes Iran now face one of the biggest challenges in their World Cup history, but maintains they can “make the impossible possible”.

– ‘Universe Cup final’ –
“If the game against Morocco was the World Cup final for us, the game against Spain will be the Universe Cup final,” said the former Real Madrid coach.

“It was not a miracle that we won. What can happen once in a while is a group of people, when they are united, can create super stories and super things.

“Our attitude is to try and make the impossible possible.”

Yet keeping the Spanish armada at bay to claim the point that would boost hopes of qualifying for the last 16 looks a tall order.

Iran have never beaten a European side at a World Cup — their only previous victory was a 2-1 win over the United States in France in 1998.

Despite the frustration of conceding an 88th-minute equaliser to Ronaldo following two goals from Diego Costa and a stunning strike from Nacho, Isco believes Spain’s resolve remains intact.

“We had a setback but we stuck together and got on with the job,” he said.

“We saw that in the first match. We never gave up, even after conceding a goal in the fourth minute. That shows what this team is all about. We’ll never stop fighting.”

Roozbeh Cheshmi out of the World Cup

FFIRI has announced that Roozbeh Cheshmi, Team Melli center-right defender, has suffered an injury during training yesterday and will no longer feature in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.

It is a real blow for the defender who has pivitol in the defence of Team Melli against Morocco.

With that injury, Carlos Queiroz equation changes for the second game against Spain. Iran edged Morocco 1-0 in the their first World Cup match at the St. Petersburg Stadium on Friday following a stoppage time own goal from Aziz Bouhaddouz.

“It was a great football match. Our strategy was exactly since the first minute to create a mental collapse in the Moroccan players. And now we tried to do that creating frustration and block all the playmakers, The players that can create something. The most open opportunities [to strike] in the first half belongs to Iran and since we were able to create panic in the defensive line of Morocco the game changed. Now it’s time to rest and think about the game against Spain,” Queiroz told at the press conference.

Roozbeh Cheshmi was in the heart of defence that frustrated the Moroccans.

In the game against Morocco, Cheshmi  alongside Morteza PouraliGanji in the middle of defense was able to protect and cover Alireza Beyranvand to keep a clean sheet. Now, with this injury, who should be seen as a substitute for a defender who has been labeled by Queiroz as “the most modern” defender of Iran in the past 10 years.

Queiroz , with all the criticisms that he sustained before the start of the Russian World Cup for playing from Roozbeh Cheshmi in the heart of the national defense, called him the most modern defender of the last 10 years in the national team. A strange claim since Queiroz has not been in Iran for 10 years. Now that Cheshmi is injured and can not play for the Team Melli, that piece of brief news has hit the team and considered as a great shock for some and certainly for the squad.

Majid Hosseini

However, it is not like a lost cause as Queiroz has three options for Cheshmi. Majid Hosseini, Pejman Montazeri and Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh.

Majid Hosseini, who was substituted in the final minutes of the game with Morocco, experienced his first appearance at the World Cup. The young defender of Esteghlal Tehran, who had developed quite rapidly from a youth team all the way to Team Melli senior team, was preferred to the much experienced of Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh, who has been playing for a long time at club and the national team.

Of course, Queiroz has proven that he has tricks up his sleeve and not shy from taking bold decisions such as using a player with one cap only, in an important match in the World Cup. That is what he did with Majid Hosseini. A surprise that no one guessed.

However, It’s unlikely that Queiroz will opt for young Majid Hosseini this time against Spain. Most likely he will use Khanzadeh and even Pejman Montazeri instead of his modern advocate.

Late strike by Ansarifard gives Iran a narrow win against Lithuania

Karim Ansarifard scored a late winner to give Iran a 1-0 victory over Lithuania in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Friday.

Carlos Queiroz’s side, who will face Morocco, Spain and Portugal in Group B at the World Cup, went into the game on the back of a 2-1 friendly defeat against Turkey in Istanbul and struggled to create chances against Edgaras Jankauskas’ lively Lithuania side.

After going in goalless at half-time, Iran spent much of the second half pinned back by waves of Lithuanian attacks, with Justas Lasickas firing over the crossbar before substitute Povilas Leimonas failed to hit the target after a neat passing move culminated in a chance on the hour mark.

Iran came to life in the last 10 minutes of the game, piling forwards and creating a number of chances before Olympiacos striker Ansarifard tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area and found the net in the 88th minute.

While the result – Iran’s fourth victory in their last six international friendlies – will have pleased Queiroz, the manner of his side’s performance will have given him food for thought ahead of their group opener against Morocco on June 15.

This was the last friendly of Team Melli. Due to a mixture of issues, games against Greece and Kosovo were cancelled. At the last minute it was been able to arrange this game against Lithuania. The Iran was the first team to arrive in Russia and has been in Moscow for 3 days, where it will play. its fifth participation in the World Cup.

Lithuania is a fourth tier team of Europe, which has not played in any World Cup, nor is it expected to do so in the short and medium term. The team consists of local players who play in their country’s, infima league, where their first division players, would have problems playing in the third division of Spain, for example.


Team Melli top stars

When Team Melli kicks off the opening match in St. Petersburg against Morocco on June 15th, all eyes will be focused on Sardar Azmoun. Majority of websites and sport media profiling and analyzing Group B of this FIFA World Cup 2018 competition, single out the Rubin Kazan’s forward Azmoun as Iran’s best hope and the star player.

Of course, this is a compliment to the 22 years old who has an outstanding scoring record at international level and at such a young age. Azmoun could very well end up as the single most influential player in Team Melli and deservedly so. However, based on statistics and form, the Rubin Kazan forward is a distant third or even fourth in Team Melli top performers of the season.

The top performer accolade goes for Alireza Jahanbakhsh , the brilliant  AZ Alkamaar winger who has topped the Dutch league scorers chart, thus becoming the first ever Asian Player to do so in a major European league. An exceptional prospect and an all-round player, Jahanbakhsh can supplement Sardar Azmoun in the front but he is also well capable of outdoing Team Melli’s main striker and grabbing all the glory. The 24 years old Jahanbakhsh has what it takes to beat the Spanish and Portuguese defenses. He scored 21 goals for Alkamaar this season which is 10 more goals than his tally for last season.

On the other hand, Azmoun has scored only 5 goals for Rubin Kazan this season. He never hit double figure in scoring at club level in his professional career, a far cry from his record at Team Melli level which has a stunning 23 goals in 32 matches.

Two more plyers have better records than Sardar too. Karim Ansarifard, Olympiakos Piraeus striker who has scored an impressive tally of 17 goals in the Greek league, and Heerenveen forward, Reza Ghoochannejad who has scored 9 goals in the Dutch league, both have better return in the leagues than Iran’s golden boy Azmoun.

Although it is difficult to compare the league form to those at the highest level of football, as the World Cup definitely is, Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s impressive season and ability cannot be overlooked and the chances of him outshining his teammate is absolutely a possibility.

What all that means for Carlos Queiroz at the end of the day, is that he is spoiled for choices up front. Now if he can only sort out his fragile back line.

Team Melli Head Coach

Queiroz defends his selection

Portuguese head coach Queiroz left Persepolis captain Seyyed Jalal Hosseini and Esteghlal winger Vouria Ghaffouri out of his squad for next month’s FIFA World Cup, insisting before squad travel to Istanbul, that the decisions were purely based on tactical issues.

“We have to call only 23 players in our final list and we could not do anything else because of the rules and logistical issues,” Queiroz said in response to criticism and then talked about the important players who have no place in his squad.

Referring to Jalal Hosseini, Queiroz said: “I respect Jalal with all my heart, but this respect should be for the next generation of Iranian football as well. We need a younger Team Melli for the upcoming events and we have to move forward. I emphasize that Seyyed Jalal will remain on our waiting list and will join Team Melli if we need him.”

When asked about Vouria Ghaffouri, the coach answered: “I needed a solid right fullback in the national team, but at his club Esteghlal he was used as a right midfielder or winger, with the decision of head coach Winfried Schaefer. I have no idea why Mr. Schaefer was surprised by seeing Vouria is not in the squad. I don’t know why he’d say that. Mr. Schaefer does not believe in Vouria as a right back and has changed the player’s position.”

Queiroz’s reasoning has not convinced many experts with some accusing him of creating tension as result of his not-so-cordial relations  with the coaches of both clubs.

Team Melli travelled to Istanbul on Monday to hold a training camp in the European country. The Persians will face Turkey football team on May 29 in a friendly match as part of preparation for the 2018 World Cup.

Iran have been drawn in Group B of the 2018 World Cup along with Morocco, Spain and Portugal.