Tag: Senegal

Bayern Munich fans express solidarity with Iranian protesters

  • Bayern Munich fans unveiled banners during their game with Bayer Leverkusen
  • They showed solidarity with those protesting in Iran over Mahsa Amini’s death 
  • Amini died in police custody after being detained by morality police in Iran
  • The banners were unveiled when Leverkusen’s Sardar Azmoun was brought on
  • Azmoun is one of several Iranian footballers to speak out against the Iranian regime

Bayern Munich fans expressed solidarity with those protesting in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini during their game with Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night, while also showing support for Leverkusen’s Sardar Azmoun.

Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets over the last two weeks in protests over the death of Amini, a 22-year-old woman who had been detained by the morality police in the capital Tehran for allegedly wearing her mandatory Islamic headscarf too loosely.

The protesters have vented anger over the treatment of women and wider repression in the Islamic Republic. The nationwide demonstrations rapidly escalated into calls for the overthrow of the clerical establishment that has ruled Iran since its 1979 Islamic revolution. The protests have drawn support from all over the world with Amnesty International saying on Friday that security forces in Iran had killed at least 52 people since they have begun.

Iran’s national football team have also spoken up on the matter, including 27-year-old Azmoun, who plays for Leverkusen.

Iran played two games during the international break – against Uruguay and Senegal, both in Austria and behind closed doors in attempts to dissuade protest by edict of the Iranian FA, while media access was restricted.

Before kick-off against Senegal, their final match before the World Cup, they covered their national team’s kit and emblem during the national anthems. The team stood arm in arm prior to the match and only took off their black jackets to play the match in Austria, while several players also blacked out their Instagram profile pictures.

However, groups of protestors flocked to the stadium in an attempt to get their message heard on national broadcasts as the clamor for justice continues. Allegedly members of the national team squad were also living under strict orders to stay silent during the break.

However, Azmoun, who has scored 41 times in 65 caps for the national team, broke the silence in an Instagram post, speaking out against the Iranian government and providing his support for women’s rights. The 27-year-old could face expulsion from the national team as a result of speaking out, meaning he would miss out on the World Cup in Qatar.

His post on Sunday read: ‘At worst I’ll be dismissed from the national team. No problem.

‘I’d sacrifice that for one hair on the heads of Iranian women. This story will not be deleted. They can do whatever they want. ‘Shame on you for killing so easily; long live Iranian women.’

The black jackets were in solidarity with protestors against Mahsa Amini’s death

His post was later taken down in favor of a less strongly worded version, but the forward has since joined his teammates in blacking out his social media profile pictures as a show of solidarity.

During Friday’s game, as he came on in the 61st minute, Bayern fans unveiled the supportive banners. One said: ‘Women, life, freedom in Farsi, which is a common chant that has been heard during the protests.

Another protest read: ‘Solidarity with the feminist revolution in Iran.’

Leverkusen boss Gerardo Seoane had previously stated on Thursday the club had been providing Azmoun with all the support he needs and praised his forward.

He told his pre-match press conference: ‘This issue has made huge waves. He is a great role model in his commitment and his behavior.

‘It is now also up to us to put an arm around him and help in this difficult situation.’

Azmoun is one of a number of Iranian footballers to speak out.

After Amini’s death, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, captain of the national team, posted an image of a young woman with her arms raised toward a flock of doves.

Ehsan Hajsafi, who was also in the starting XI against Uruguay, published something similar. Both appear to have been forced to delete the posts, which mysteriously vanished.

Furthermore, Hossein Mahini, a former Iranian international, was allegedly detained due to his support for the protests.

Gaps in Team Melli, Queiroz in battle with time to rectify.

After two quite useful matches for Team Melli, Carlos Queiroz has realized the magnitude of his mission in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in order to qualify Iran for the next round for the first time in history.

Team Melli’s results against Uruguay and Senegal were excellent but that cannot be said about the performance. In fact, Iran was lucky that the Sengalese players forgot their shooting boots at the hotel. The African Champions players easily bypassed Iran’s midfield and tested the defensive line, however, their final balls were mostly wayward. The ease with which the Senegal players passed the Iranians would definitely worry Queiroz’s team in the World Cup.

The gaps specifically at the midfield despite fielding four defensive players were apparent. It took some heroics from Hosseini in the goal, Kanani and Majid Hosseini in the center plus Sadegh Moharrami to minimize the damage. Ehsan Hajsafi, on the other hand, is a serious liability as a left-back despite him providing an excellent assist for Sardar Azmoun. Of course, Iran must also thank the Senegalese players who kept aiming at the sky in their final balls.

The onus is on Queiroz to get his ideal formation in the defense and midfield, but as we all know he is battling against time and no more opportunity for training or friendly matches. What we saw in Austria is probably the formation in which Queiroz will line up the team. All the work that the head coach needs to conduct for the improvement and tightening of the team will be on paper. Observations of the domestic league players and the legionnaires should also help, except that most of Team Melli players are bench warmers in their European clubs.

Team Melli’s strongest line is the forward line, where Queiroz need not worry much, but with names like Azmoun and Taremi up front, they need to be fed with proper balls to finish them in the back of the net. In both the matches in the Austrian camp, the service was sub-standard and rare. Kudos to the two forwards for turning those chances into goals.

Without a good defensive structure, Iran will struggle in the World Cup as players like Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Gareth Bale, and Christian Pulisic can take advantage of these defensive gaps to hurt Iran. In any case, it is the Queiroz style to press and defend tightly while depending on quick counterattacks for scoring.



Seyed Hossein HOSSEINI: One of the best players on the field with his good saves and confident handling of the ball [8.5] 
Majid HOSSEINI: started well and created a good partnership with Kanani. He has his shortcoming though and could be passed at ease at times. [6.7]
Hossein KANANI-ZADEGAN: Majestic performance from a solid defender who hardly put a foot wrong and was quite confident against Saido mane. He only played one half but it was easy to convince Queiroz that he is becoming an indispensable player in the team [8.8]
Sadegh MOHARRAMI: Yet another good performance from Moharerami to solidify his claim for the right-back position. Under Queiroz’s game plan, he can be the winger that can be effective in quick counterattacks. [8.3]
Saeid EZZATOLLAHI: Lack of top-level football is adversely affecting him and it was obvious that at big games he is found wanting. His physique is quite important for the team but really needs to work on passing skills and game reading [6.5]
Ahmad NOUROLLAHI: At times he was lost among the better opposition players. He tried matching the Senegalese midfield but lacked the capability to win balls or provide effective passes for the forwards [6.7]
Milad SARLAK:  Industrious and hardworking player whose role in Queiroz’s game plan is to form a defensive line in front of the central defenders. Mixed success but a player who can be also used in defense too. [6.9]
Ali GHOLIZADEH: The player has good dribbling skills and can be vital for the rare offensive moves in Team Melli. However, his final balls and passes leave a lot to be desired. Still has not reached his potential and his small physique could be a liability against big teams. [6.7]
Ehsan HAJSAFI: Operated as a left back and he was a liability. Easily dribbled , poor positional awareness and poor coverage marred his performance. His assist, however, plus a goal-line clearance gives him more rating than he may not deserve. [7.2]
Mehdi TAREMI: Did not get proper service and hence he was ineffective. Still tries to fake and falls proving that his ill-repute in Portugal is not unwarranted. Another player that can be a savior for Team Melli despite all the controversy around him. His lack of pace is worrying though [6.9]
Karim ANSARIFARD: A player who seems content with turning up it seems. Not effective in this match and was disconnected from his teammate Taremi up front [6.2]


Morteza POURALIGANJI: Unfortunate to concede the goal but overall he was a solid player and tackled well. [7.0]
Saman GHODDOS: At his best Ghoddos can be a real asset for Team Melli with his passes and vision. He was not given breathing space by the Senegalese players and that is where many Iranian players fail against hard-pressing teams. [6.8]
Omid EBRAHIMI: A hard-working midfielder who is tireless and fighting for every ball. He was overwhelmed in this match and was hardly in the game. [6.5]
Alireza JAHANBAKHSH: vitalized the team on his appearance as a sub. At times he was double-teamed and the Senegalese defenders knew how to curtail his threat. [7.2]
Sardar AZMOUN: A quality forward needs half a chance to score and that is what Azmoun did when he provided a quality cross. His jump for the Hajsafy’s perfect cross was majestic. [8.9]



Iran 1 – 1 Senegal: Team Melli remains unbeaten.

Team Melli played its last preparatory match against Senegal in Austria which ended in a 1-1 draw. Senegal scored first from an own goal by Morteza Pouraliganji (55′) while Sardar Azmoun (64′) headed Iran’s equalizer from an assist by Hajsafi.

Queiroz opted to change the starting lineup in this match from the one that played Uruguay bringing in  Taremi, Majid Hosseini, Hossein Hosseini, Sarlak, Gholizadeh, and Ansarifard in the starting lineup.

The first half ended in a dull goalless draw in a half that was consistently interrupted by fouls.

Iran failed to register any shot on Senegal’s goal in this half, while on the opposite side Hossein Hosseini managed a couple of good saves.  as Senegal threatened Iran’s side sometime by the virtue of much better physicality. The African side was pressing on every ball relentlessly as if they are playing in the final of the cup, however, their final balls were sometimes comical hitting the roof of the stadium more often than Hosseini’s goal. The Central defense of Team Melli, Kanani, and Hosseini combined well to thwart the dangerous Saido Mane who was the initiator of most of his team’s offensive moves near and inside the box.

Team Melli was truly offensively shy. This comes as no surprise because the Queiroz ideology is on tight defense and in numbers, the offense is a bonus. There were four defensive midfield players in the lineup and that was just a taste of things to come and what the fans will experience in the World Cup.

The second half was much livelier with Senegal continuing their offensive and being the team that was hungrier for a win. A few minutes after the start, Hajsafi made a brilliant save preventing the ball from crossing the line in an open goal.  The consistent Senegalese offensive eventually paid off in the 55th minute as Pouralganji deflected a cross into his own net wrongfooting Hosseini in the goal.

Queiroz. feeling yet another defeat by Senegal, sent his top gun Azmoun, instead of Taremi. In one of the rare Team Melli offensives and from a clever ball by Jahanbaksh in the Senegal box to the on-rushing Hajsafi on his left, the Team Melli left back sent a sumptuous cross inside the box, where Azmoun majestically rose to head the ball in the met while Senegal goalkeeper was stranded. It was a great goal by Team Melli’s third-highest scorer.

Senegal continued to test Team Melli defenses and Hosseini, however, their efforts were going nowhere despite some close calls and a total of 11 corners won. Mane was a pest for the defenders and indeed he was once again the player who created for his teammates but to no avail.

At the final whistle, Alliou Cissé and Carlos Queiroz held each other in a friendly hug and exchanged what could be as friendly taunts. This time Cissé failed to beat Mr. Carlos.

At the end of Iran’s camp, the domestic league players will be back in Tehran on Friday, while the legionnaires will head back to their clubs direct from Vienna. It was a successful experience for Team Mell with more than satisfactory results registered against two top teams in FIFA Ranking.  However, there was nothing exciting about Team Melli in terms of performance, tactics, or game plan. Queiroz will not change his preferred style, not at this age anyway, and will stick to the things that he believes in and knows best. Team Melli will remain offensively shy under Queiroz. Players like Taremi and Azmoun will get very little service comes the World Cup matches.

Queiroz meeting Sengal again, looking for revenge.

Carlos Queiroz is once again meeting his nemesis, Aliou Cissé, and the national football team of Senegal, the team that deprived him of lifting the African Nations Cup and the qualification for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, while he was the head coach of Egypt.

After the confidence-boosting win by Team Melli, Queiroz’s men are looking for another good result against the African champion on Tuesday to complete what is the ideal preparation schedule for the World Cup under difficult conditions. Queiroz knows Senegal quite well by now and must be desperate to beat them this time as coach of Iran. Senegal is looking to score a hat trick against the Portuguese coach to add insult to his injury.

Both those defeats by penalty kicks were bitter for the Egyptians fans and even worst for Queiroz himself. Undoubtedly, if these two defeats against Senegal did not occur, Queiroz would still be the head coach of the Egyptian national team and cruising the Nile on his days off. That’s why the game against Senegal has a different flavor and color for Queiroz, and unlike the game against Uruguay, it is a complete revenge game for the coach. However, for Team Melli, it is considered yet another preparatory game against strong opposition where a win really means nothing except for alerting the likes of England and its media, not to underestimate Team Melli. A good performance and a win would surely jolt the other two teams in the group USA and Wales.

Senegal under the capable coach Aliou Cissé and stars such as Saido Mane,  Kalidou Koulibaly (captain,), Idrissa Gueye and Cheikhou Kouyaté will be looking to win against Iran to consolidate its claim for qualifying out of the group in the FIFA World Cup. It will not be a simple practice match as Aliou Cissé will field his strongest team.

All Senegal players play outside the country with no local domestic league player expected to make the final roster for the World Cup.

Iran and Senegal met only once before in Azadi Stadium in April 2009. The match ended 1-1 .
Mehrzad MADANCHI scored Iran’s goal.

Date Comp. H / A / N Final score Stadium Attendance
01.04.2009 Friendly H 1 – 1 Azadi Stadium, Tehran 5000

Team Melli match vs Russia called off.

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Mehdi Mohammad Nabi, a member of the Iran Football Federation’s Board of Directors, said that a planned friendly match with Russia has been called off.

The head coach of the Russian national football team Valery Karpin had said that his team will play Iran in a friendly match in Tehran or Doha on November 16.

“We cannot play Russia on November 16 because we will travel to Doha on November 11. Team Melli will play a friendly match with one of the Persian Gulf countries in Doha,” Nabi said.

Iran will meet Uruguay in a friendly in Austria on Friday and play Senegal four days later.

Team Melli Austrian camp news

 – Legionnaires: Almost all the legionnaires’ players joined the camp in Vienna as Team Melli continues its preparation for the matches against Uruguay and Senegal.

 – New Arrivals: According to the FFIRI website, Ansarifard, Taremi and Jahanbaksh were the latest to join the camp. There is still no news about Noorafkan and Nourollahi yet. Saman Ghoddos and Sadegh Moharrami have been confirmed in Vienna.

 – The Plot is complete!  Interestingly, the three players were the main plotters against Dragan Skočić, and their influence helped bring back Queiroz to Team Melli once again. The Portuguese coach naturally reserved a warm welcome for the major trio plotters upon their arrival t the hotel.

 – Kanani’s never-ending problems: The disciplinary issue of Hossein Kananizadegan is still lingering as reports that he is still suspended by the FFIRI Disciplinary Committee have surfaced. There was no definite communication on this issue from FFIRI although ISNA has reported that his suspension is still ongoing and applies for both the matches. This will be very disappointing for Queiroz who counts on solid defense and would like to see his players perform against the likes of Saido Mane, Darwin Nunez, and Luis Suárez.

 – Physical Training: Queiroz is making the players work hard in the gym. His philosophy centers around tough and fit players and the hard work of physical training are one method of many in getting the player’s physical conditions to what is required at the highest level of competition.

 – Not again, Carlos! Queiroz is back to his old silly tricks again! No surprises here either. The Team Melli coach wants the match against Uruguay to be played behind closed doors and obviously not televised!!  This is a repeat of many attempts when he was last with Team Melli. Whatever secret weapons he has or had did not work for Team Melli in the 8 years of his reign but certainly, his secret training plans and strategies did not serve Colombia or Egypt either, why is he insisting on such measures is an act of selfishness. He is depriving the fans of watching a match of their beloved team playing against two of the best Teams in Latin America and Africa and that is an injustice to the fans. Not that he cares a lot about it.

 – Missing Man:  One key player of Senegal who will be missing against Team Melli is Keita Balde. The winger was banned for breaking doping protocols when he was playing for the Italian side Cagliari. Balde, currently with Russian outfit Spartak Moscow will also miss the FIFA World Cup.

Senegal stars: Kalidou Koulibaly of Chelsea and Bayern Munich’s Saido Mane arguably the two top players in the Senegalese team will be available and definite starters against Iran barring any injuries. The two players have not enjoyed a good season start with their respective new teams.

 – Final List: with 26 players allowed in this edition of the World Cup, it seems that the current squad is the final list that will be traveling to Qatar for the World Cup. Queiroz does not have the luxury of time and these two matches in Austria are quite important to him for the assessment of the players. He has stuck to his old players and will not pick any new talents or future stars for his trip to Doha.

 – Injury list:  All the players seem to have exercised and trained normally. Vahid Amiri, who was on a six-month lay off still remains a doubt and is in a tight race to regain full fitness both physical and match fitness too.

Team Melli lands in Vienna

Team Melli arrived at Vienna airport this Sunday morning to hold a training camp which includes two friendly internationals against Uruguay and  Senegal.

The squad left Tehran earlier missing  3 players Ahmad Noorollahi, Ramin Rezaeian, and Omid Noorafkan visas are yet to be awarded.

Several of the Legionnaires will be joining today and tomorrow.

Quiroz names Team Melli list for Austria camp.

Queiroz announced his final list of players who will be forming the squad for the Training Camp in Austria including two international friendlies versus Uruguay and Senegal.

Alireza Beiranvand, Amir Abedzadeh, Hossein Hosseini, Payam Niazmand

Ramin Rezaeian, Sadegh Moharammi, Saleh Hardani, Hossein Kanaanizadegan, Majid Hosseini, Morteza Pouraliganji, Shojaa Khalilzadeh, Abolfazl Jalali, Milad Mohammadi, Omid Noorafkan

Omid Ebrahimi , Saeed Ezzatollahi, Milad Sarlak, Saman Ghoddos, Ahmad Noorollahi, Ehsan Haj Safi, Vahid Amiri.

Ali Gholizadeh, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Mehdi Torabi, Mehdi Taremi, Karim Ansarifard, Sardar Azmoun.

As expected, Queiroz who was away from Iranian football since early 2019, elected to pick his old guards to take to Qatar. Players like Ansarifard, whose total playing time in the last few months did not exceed 90 minutes are included as are Ghoddos and Ezzarotlahi both fringe players in their teams. Vahid Amiri, a long-time senior player who has been on the injury list was also picked although it is reported that he is not quite ready and short of match practice. Amiri has been given special recovery training.

Queiroz not surprisingly picked another of his old guards, Rezaeian for the right back position. There was a surprise in naming Abolfazl Jalali a player who is not familiar to him, but the biggest surprise was his inclusion of Shojaá Khalilzadeh.

Team Melli’s central defense in the qualifiers, consisting of Khalilzadeh and Kananizadeh was formidable and had a large role to play in the qualification. However, Queiroz and Khalilzadeh have not been on good terms. Some observers were predicting that Shojaá will be ignored by the Portuguese. Perhaps, Queiroz’s peers advised him against excluding Khalikzadeh.

Rogério Paulo Cesar de Sá confirmed as assistant to Queiroz

The South African coach Rogério Paulo Cesar de Sá has been confirmed as the first assistant to Carlos Queiroz in Team Melli coaching Team.

The former Orlando Pirates coach also acted as South Africa’s goalkeeping coach during Carlos Queiroz’s reign and, in September 2021, was recruited by Queiroz to join him as Assistant Coach to the Egyptian national football team.

de Sá, confirmed his presence in Team Melli in an interview today and said:” Team Melli will start work on Tuesday and then travel to Austria, where they will play a friendly match with Uruguay and Senegal. We will start training with the team on Wednesday and Thursday.  We will train again on Saturday and then we will fly to Austria where we will play against those two teams in a friendly international. Then we will return to Iran and continue working with the team there.”

The newly appointed coach of Iran’s national football team emphasized: “These two games will give us a good idea of the standard of the players. I might fly to Europe to watch some players with their clubs and we’ll probably train in Dubai a week before we go to the World Cup in Qatar.”

Rogério de Sá who was on the bench of the Egyptian national team when he first worked with Queiroz, referring to the problems and challenges ahead for the World Cup said “the heat and humidity of Qatar will be a challenge for many players in the tournament. We have a short time to prepare which is not ideal. Ideally, we should have been there in Iran for a year at least but Carlos knows the team well and the players know him too because he coached them in the last two World Cups.”

de Sá is looking forward to working with the Iranian players and getting to know them in the coming weeks. He stated: “When I became a coach, the number one priority was that I am human and so is the player. I think Carlos is the same. I think many coaches forget this. I might coach them for a year or two, but we can be friends until we die. ”

Roger announced that he will be with Iran’s national team for one or two years because the Football Federation has not confirmed its plans regarding Carlos Queiroz after the end of the World Cup. First, Mehdi Taj, the president of FFIRI announced in his press conference that the Federation’s plan is that Queiroz to become the Technical Manager of the national team after the World Cup and that the team will participate in the 2023 Asian Nations Cup under the head coach of Javad Nekonam. While Mehdi Mohammadnabi, the general secretary of the federation, said that Iran will probably be coached in AFC Asian Cup with Queiroz on the bench!

Take your pick on whom to believe.

The full state of Hull City’s injury curse revealed as Allahyar undergoes surgery

Shota Arveladze has revealed Iranian international Allahyar Sayyadmanesh is likely to miss the next month of action at least, after pulling up with a hamstring problem in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Burnley.

The youngster has impressed in the early weeks of the Championship season, but his enforced absence will be a real blow to the Tigers, who are already without key performers like Jean Michael Seri, Ryan Longman, Brandon Fleming, and Greg Docherty.

The prognosis on Allahyar Sayyadmanesh’s torn hamstring is less positive, however, with the Iranian striker undergoing surgery in London earlier this week. Allahyar is likely to be sidelined for around three months putting his hopes of appearing at this winter’s World Cup in Qatar in serious jeopardy.

This bad news comes at the time that Allahyar was one of the certain candidates for inclusion in the squad for Qatar. Iran will be playing two friendly games against Uruguay and Senegal in Austria that Sayyadmanesh will definitely miss.