Tag: Shahab Azizi Khadem

The never ending lies and decption of the officials!

While the Omid Team is in turmoil and the scheduled team training in FIFA Day was not held due to the pending administrative and contractual issues ( non-payment of coaches salaries and not finalizing and signing of the contracts) which lead to the cancellation of the Omid Training Camp, the president of the football federation FFIRI and the president of the National Olympic Committee denied all those facts and turned them upside down claiming that Omid Team is progressing well

The camp of the national Olympic football team (Omid) was supposed to be held under the supervision of Mehdi Mahdavikia from the 25th January to the 1st February, but this camp was never commenced due to lack of necessary planning by the Football Federation and non-conclusion of the national team coaches contracts including Mehdi Mahdavikia himself and his assistants!

However, Shahabuddin Azizi Khadem, president of the Football Federation FFIRI, and Seyed Reza Salehi Amiri, president of the National Olympic Committee NOC, as the team’s trustees, denied any wrongdoing, saying that the National Olympic team had no problems whatsoever!!. “The Omid team is doing its job according to plan. We participated in the Central Asian Games and will go to Uzbekistan. This federation is different from the ones before in that it has already started the preparation of Omid team for the Paris Olympics, which we have already done,” Azizi Khadem said. “It was not like that before. I hope the Omid national team gets better conditions. We have to go to Uzbekistan for the final of the Asian Championship in June. We hope Mahdavikia will start working soon again according to the plans.”

          • Mahdavikia pays his assistants wages from his own pocket.
          • The one-week training camp in Kish Isle was canceled 
          • Director of communication of Omid Team resigns.
          • Azizi-Khadem in full denial

A day before this statement, Salehi Amiri had said: “I am in contact with Azizi Khadem. Mahdavikia is also seriously pursuing and organizing, and I personally believe that the Omid team, given its capacity in the football community and its presence. The well-respected coach that this team has, we will shine in Hangzhou.”

A few hours later after Sazlehi-Amiri’s statement and assurance, that the media director of the Omid national team submitted his resignation,

Pointing to many problems in the national Olympic (Omid) team in a text he posted on his personal Instagram page, the director said  “the contracts of the head coach and assistant coaches of the Omid national team have not been signed even after about five months from initial agreement on the contents. This is what was supposed to happen after the recent meeting of the Board of Directors of the Football Federation, but has not been done yet, and this is only one of the aggravations and problems of the technical staff of the Iranian U-23 national team.

“The non-payment of players’ bonuses, the cancellation of the national team camps (which was supposed to be held on Kish Island with matches against foreign teams) as well as the uncertainty of the team’s manager and coaches are among the events that led to the cancellation of the team’s recent camp. On hearing the cancellation of the camp, the foreign coaches did not travel to Iran!”

The media director wrote in his message that “Mahdavikia paid the salaries of his three foreign assistants out of his own pocket so that the non-commitment and lack of obligation in the football federation would not take on an international dimension!”

“Mahdavi’s Assistants had participated in the Asian Under-23 qualifiers from September to November 2021 without any contract. In this turbulent situation that is not hidden from anyone,”

Azizi Khadem and Salehi Amiri, with their lack of honesty, sweet talk their way on how their respective organizations are determined to succeed in the Asian U23 Championship and the Asian Games with such confidence to the degree of promising the fans to finally end the spell of consecutive failures of over 40 years of Omid Team failure to qualify for the Olympics. It looks like they both believe that by turning the facts upside down and living in denial, no one notices the shortcomings and broken promises, disrespect for the contracts. While it seems like a standard operating procedure for preparing the Omid or the Iranian Olympics team, and after about half a century, professional planning, commitment, financial support needed for the success of this team is still lacking big time. Instead, lies, denials, deception, and delusion is still rife from those inept personnel running football and other sports affair in Iran.

Like the Persian proverb goes “It’s the same soup and the same bowl”!

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.”

Memorandum of collaboration signed between Iran and Qatar

Iran and Qatar have signed a four-year football Memorandum of collaboration commencing before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

The presidents of FFIRI Shehab Azizi Khadem and Sheikh Hamad bin Ahmed Al Thani, President of the Qatar Football Association, attended the signing ceremony earlier today (Thursday) in Doha.  According to the memorandum, the two federations will collaborate in holding friendly matches, exchange of training facilities as well as training camps at all levels of different age categories of their respective national football teams, including men and women. The long-term collaboration between the two sides, which will soon be implemented in various fields, is important due to the good relations between the two countries, ease of logistics and transportation, proximity, and cultural commonalities of the two countries.

With Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup, its state-of-the-art facilities and modern infrastructure will be available to National Iranian football teams in Qatar. In this meeting, Hamidreza Mehr Ali (acting vice president of the FFIRI), Rafiei (legal advisor to the president of FFIRI) and Dragan Skocic (head coach of the national team) accompanied Azizi Khadem. Also present at the meeting was FIFA’S Deputy Secretary-General Football, Mattias Grafström.   Last night on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the FIFA Arab Cup, Azizi Khadem had a meeting with Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, who is scheduled to travel to Iran in February 2022.

Azizi Khadem has traveled to Qatar at the official invitation of the President of the Qatar Football Federation. Qatar will host the Qatar FIFA World Cup in November 2022, and the Iranian national team is just one step away from qualifying for the tournament. With this contract, it can be hoped that the national team will take advantage of Qatar’s sports facilities to hold camps and friendly matches within a year of the tournament.

Azizi-Khadem’s theory on Team Melli victories!

While the Team Melli fans and many observers praised the performance and the result of Team Melli against Iraq leading to a precious victory, as a result of collective efforts from the head coach to players and support staff, there comes an individual to offer a completely different perspective to this victory.

There always seems to be one individual who manages to undermines the efforts of those who achieved the victory by sending the wrong message.

These messages or series of obscure messages starting from the Syria game came from non-other than the Head of FFIRI. Azizi-Khadem was and still is under heavy criticism for his administration’s failure to fully prepare and support Team Melli for the third round of FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

Lack of adequate financial support, late scheduling and setup of the training camp, and failure to arrange friendly internationals matches are a few of many of his administration failures. However, the man is now claiming that the victory against Iraq is nothing but a “divine intervention”.

A man whose election to the head of FFIRI has raised a lot of eyebrows and shouts of corruption, in a series of statements to the media, has in fact downplayed everything by asserting “Hands of God” theory as the reason for Iran’s victory.

We have seen the hand of divine support, guidance, and mercy of God in this victory, and we hope that these victories will be lasting and continuous and that we deserve this grace and grace of God.”

 “In the core of our existence, is faith and trust in God. Effort, diligence, hard work, planning, etc. are also fruitful (…)

 “Along with strategic planning and effort and practice … we will and will continue to recognize and emphasize that the essential element of trusting in God and divine secret grace.” !!

We ask God to make our football a means of growth and material and spiritual upliftment for us and our society.” Said Azizi-Khadem, after the Team Melli victory against Syria, also considered that victory as the result of “the blessed prayer of the world” for the national team!!

Why would the Whole World Pray for Iran’s victory, he did not explain!

The insiders and skeptics, who are quite a few, consider Aziz-Khadem’s rhetoric as a defense mechanism against his feeble and incompetent management. The man had no decency to credit the players and the coaching staff for a job well done.  Another objective of his is to limit the demands for funds to support Team Melli like setting proper training camps and playing friendly games.


The football league committee of FFIRI has agreed to the request by Channel 3 (Sports Program) to change the kick-off time of two matches involving Iran’s two most popular clubs Esteghlal and Persepolis, as IRIB did not want the matches played in the Persian Gulf league to clash with the Euro 2020 live broadcast.

In most countries, such requests are normal and mostly accommodated, because the chunk of football revenue that ends up in the clubs’ coffers are due to the TV broadcast rights. IN Iran, it is unique. IRIB is known to be the biggest debtor of football and does not pay a single Rial for broadcasting football matches on its channels.

Television broadcast rights all over the world are the biggest source of income for professional clubs and can be more than 50% of their total income. This explains how freely the English clubs spend money to buy players or how the 24 Championship clubs participate in the heaviest league in the world to advance to the English Premier League with its riches due to the Broadcast rights. With the large amount of money awarded to the clubs, not only the English Premier League can afford to buy the most expensive players, but a significant portion of their revenue is invested in the development of the young players, training facilities, and stadia. This automatically helps in raising the standards and making English football one of the most competitive. Switch to any TV Sports pay channel, and there is a good chance that it carries the English Premier League, where the TV station has to spend around 350 million pounds for a season for such rights.

The same applies to the Splansh La Liga, The German Bundesliga and the Italin Serie A.

What is happening in Iran regarding football matches broadcasting?

In Iran, the situation is quite different, and not only does the official and the sole broadcaster IRIB has a monopoly on radio and television broadcasts but also does not pay anything to the football federation and the league organization to broadcast domestic football competitions.

It has also been known that IRIB even demands payment from clubs to broadcast their games. These are games other than Persepolis or Esteghlal which IRIB does not think it is viable commercially.  The broadcast organization IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting), is directly under the control of Ayatollah Khamenei. Not only it does not pay the domestic football matches broadcasting, but it also refuses to pay for broadcasting international competitions and illegally broadcasts many games on its channels. This practice has been going on for many decades.

Now, however, IRIB, with complete impunity and arrogance, has the audacity to demand changes in the league program to suit itself rather than the Premier League competitions and the FFIRI obliged. The issue begins when the federation announced on Monday in a news item that because of the Channel 3 network requirement to broadcast the Euro 2020 semi-final games, it asked the league organization to change the kick-off time of Esteghlal-Trakctor and Foolad-Persepolis games, which was immediately approved by the league organization.

It was incredible that the Football Federation and the League organization agreed to the demands of IRIB, while IRIB  has not bought the broadcast rights for Euro 2020!!

The audacity of IRIB is beyond belief. Because it does not report to the government and is under the control of Ayatollah Khamenae it makes its own rules, publishes inaccurate and misleading information, while always seemed immune from prosecution under the country’s laws unlike any other media outlet in Iran. Of course, there is no expectation from a broadcaster that does not apologize for any of its big and small mistakes.

While common sense says that the FFIRI should object and turn down these demands because of the refusal of the official broadcaster to pay broadcasting rights, the opposite has happened!!

Azizi Khadem regularly mentions IRIB in good terms and goes as far as thanking the head of the Radio and Television Organization at every opportunity he gets! We still remember how Azizi Khadem, board members of FFIRI, and management of Team Melli paid a courtesy visit to Ali Asgari the President of IRIB four days before the trip to Bahrain to award IRIB the title of the “twelfth man of Team Melli” and gifting him a Team Melli Jersey with No. 12 printed on it!

Amazing how things work in Iran. While IRIB persistently refuses to pay for broadcasting matches of Team Melli and the league, while the same organization makes millions in advertising revenue during the televising of these matches, while for decades the FFIRI management demanded its rights from IRIB and was turned down and even threatened, this Management or Azizi Khadem in particular, is giving IRIB a seal of approval for violating international norms and laws and recognizing Iran’s football biggest debtor as the “twelfth friend”! This indicates how rotten is the system of governance in FFIRI as Az=izi Khadem is looking beyond Presidency of a football federation at the time when he will be kicked out of his office and will be looking for a new job.

Azizi Khadem now says Skocic is contracted intil the end of the qualifying rounds.

According to the Mehr reporter, Shahabuddin Azizi Khadem, the president of the Football Federation, commenting on Dragan Skocic, Team Melli Head Coach’s contract ” Skocic will remain in charge for the 10 matches of the third round FIFA World Cup qualifiers. This might include Fifa day friendly matches.”

Regarding Skocic’s assistants, the president of the Football Federation emphasized: “Both Vahid Hashemian and Karim Bagheri will continue their work in the national team.”

On the other hand, Mansour Ghanbarzadeh, Secretary-General of FFIRI said that the figure of Skocic’s contract is not that significant to mention (…) Skocic’s contract figure is reasonable.” Ghanbarzadeh added that ” Skocic’s plans for the national team: Skocic will present his plans to the presidency of the federation as in the previous round.”


Dragan Skocic confirmed as head coach of Team Melli to the World Cup.

Following Team Melli’s successful qualification to the third round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and also qualification to the finals of the AFC Asian Cup 2023, there were ambiguities about the status of Dragan Skocic’s post as the head coach.

After the squad returned from Bahrain, Shahab Azizi Khadim, the head of FFIRI announced that the contract with Skocic has expired with the conclusion of the second round of the preliminaries and his federation’s Board of Directors will meet to discuss the future of Head Coach post of Team Melli.

On the other hand, in an interview with a local TV station, the incumbent coach Skocic, refuted any claims of expiry of the contract as he clearly mentioned that he has a contract up to the end of the World Cup.

On Sunday, the Football Federation eventually decided to continue with the services of the Croatian coach. “The Football Federation reached a joint agreement with the head coach of the national team until the end of the third qualifying round of the World Cup,” Shahabuddin Azizi Khadem confirmed the news. The president of the football federation added: “After the draw of the third round, it was decided to make proper plans for this stage and the football federation will put all the necessary facilities for the preparation of the national team and a strong presence in the third round on the agenda.”

The draw for the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be held on July 1st in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the Iranian national football team is seeded no 2 as head of a 6 team group drawn from two pots.

Dragan Skočić, left Tehran early morning Monday for a one-week break in Croatia.

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!!