Tag: Spain

FIFA First ever Futsal Ranking

  • Futsal nations around the world ranked globally for the first time
  • Brazil tops both men’s and women’s charts; Portugal and Spain complete top three
  • Rankings will be key reference point for world futsal

FIFA has launched the official FIFA Futsal World Ranking, with powerhouses Brazil the first number-one nation on both the men’s and women’s chart as the rapidly growing sport takes another major step forward.

Iran’s Futsal Team Melli, recently crowned as AFC Futsal Asian Cup 2024 is ranked 4 in the list which will be regularly published, but unlike the FIFA Football Ranking, this will not be monthly!

Although the FIFA/Coca-Cola Men’s World Ranking for football has existed since December 1992, and women’s senior national teams have been officially ranked by FIFA since 2003, that has not previously been the case for futsal. However, the indoor game has enjoyed exponential growth in recent years and this milestone moment represents the natural next step, as well as being the first time that FIFA men’s and women’s rankings have been launched concurrently.

Broadcasts of the FIFA Futsal World Cup™ in Lithuania in 2021 attracted an average of 2.42 million viewers per match, a massive 130 percent increase from the previous edition in 2016. The FIFA Futsal World Cup Uzbekistan 2024™, which will be the first FIFA tournament staged in Central Asia, is likely to improve even on those impressive numbers, and a historic first FIFA Futsal Women’s World Cup™ will be held in 2025. Against this backdrop, FIFA has rolled out global rankings for its member associations’ women’s and men’s senior futsal national teams in recognition of the dynamic development of and global interest in the sport.

The initial rankings have been based on statistics gathered from over 4,600 FIFA ‘A’ matches. FIFA defines an international ‘A’ match as a match between two FIFA members for which both members field their first representative team (‘A’ team).

The new ranking system will also serve to seed teams for all upcoming editions of the FIFA Futsal World Cup – including during the recently announced draw for the 2024 competition in Uzbekistan. The system will likewise be used for qualification processes and enable comprehensive and consistent data to be gathered to monitor member associations in accordance with the FIFA Regulations Governing International Matches. That will support the prevention of practices that jeopardize the integrity of the sport, such as match manipulation.

In the nine editions of the FIFA Futsal World Cup to date, the inaugural top-ranked men’s side, Brazil, have been crowned champions five times and only failed to finish on the podium once. They are closely followed on the chart by Portugal, who arrive at this year’s FIFA Futsal World Cup as the holders and have won the last two European crowns. Spain, the two-time world (2000 and 2004) and seven-time European champions, are third in the standings.

Brazil’s women’s national team have been just as dominant as their male counterparts, having won all seven of the South American championships that they have contested. Spain and Portugal are again behind them on the women’s ranking, albeit in reverse order: three-time European champions Spain are second, with Portugal – who have finished runners-up to their Iberian rivals in two continental finals – in third.

Fans interested in attending the FIFA Futsal World Cup Uzbekistan 2024™ can register to receive ticketing updates here.

Saeed Ahmad Abbasi lands in Spain to join Viña Albali Valdepeñas

Saeed Ahmad Abbasi, the Iran national futsal team player, finally left for Spain yesterday after three months of negotiations with  Viña Albali Valdepeñas club and signing a contract with this Spanish league team.

Ahmad Abbas, who left Tehran on Monday morning for Spain, finally arrived in Madrid after nearly 12 hours of flight. David Ramos, the head coach of the Wine Albali team, personally greeted and welcomed Ahmad Abbasi at the airport too. Saeed left the airport with his head coach and traveled from Madrid to Valdepeñas in Ramos’s car. The city to which the Vinalbali team belongs and the passionate fans of this club are famous in Spain.

استقبال ویژه از بازیکن ایران در اسپانیا و برگزاری مراسم معارفه
عکس یادگاری احمدعباسی و سرمربی آلبالی در اسپانیا


After a photo session and a short rest, the player participated in the training yesterday evening and was introduced to other players. Ahmad Abbasi continued to train with this team to prepare for Friday’s crucial game against Palma. The opposing team has Hossein Tayyebi and Moslim Oladaghbad, two of Ahmad Abbasi teammates in the Iranian national team. FS Viña Albali  club website wrote commented on Ahmad Abbasi’s presence in this team: “This Iranian player has started preparing to speed up his acclimatization and coordination and can help the team from the very first moment.”

Ahmad Abbasi expressed his excitement and joy on his arrival in Valdepeñas. In turn, they welcome him from Viña Albali and wish him the best of luck in this exciting phase, which starts on Monday.

استقبال ویژه از بازیکن ایران در اسپانیا و برگزاری مراسم معارفه
معارفه احمدعباسی در تمرین باشگاه اسپانیایی

Iran Futsal path ahead.

Futsal Team Melli successfully navigated the group stages of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 with two wins and a loss. By virtue of becoming second behind Argentina, the path to the semi-finals and a repeat performance of the last FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016 can be achieved again.

Uzbekistan, a well-known team for Futsal Team Melli will be the opponent in the Round of 16 of the Championship. The Asian rivals will play in Vilnius on 24th September. Assuming Iran defeats Uzbekistan, they will meet the winners of Kazakhstan and Thailand in the quarter-finals.

Although they are no easy matches at the World Cup, it looks like a pretty attainable road to the semi-finals when they really will meet teams above them in the World Ranking, i.e. Spain, assuming no surprises there and the European powerhouse can defeat the opponents in the two rounds before the Semi.




Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
22 September – Kaunas
26 September – Vilnius
Winner Match 38
23 September – Kaunas
Winner Match 39
29 September – Kaunas
Winner Match 45
22 September – Vilnius
Winner Match 46
26 September – Kaunas
Winner Match 37
23 September – Vilnius
Winner Match 40
3 October – Kaunas
Winner Match 49
24 September – Vilnius
Winner Match 50
27 September – Vilnius
 Czech Republic
Winner Match 43
24 September – Kaunas
Winner Match 42
30 September – Kaunas
Winner Match 47
24 September – Vilnius
Winner Match 48 Third place match
27 September – Kaunas 3 October – Kaunas
Winner Match 44 Loser Match 49
23 September – Kaunas
Winner Match 41 Loser Match 50


FIFA Futsal World Ranking




1  Spain 1820
2  Brazil 1804
3  Argentina 1719
4  Russia 1668
5  Iran 1629
6  Portugal 1599
7  Kazakhstan 1569
8  Italy 1510
9  Croatia 1500
10  Paraguay 1472


Iran Scorers:

2 Goals


1 goal



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.

Saman Ghoddos , a repeat story for Iranian players.

Saman Quddos has been suspended for four months after being sued by Spain’s Huesca club in addition to paying € 5m in damages. The FIFA ruling was due to a preliminary agreement by the Swedish club Ostershunds and Saman Ghoddos for transfer to the Spanish club, but instead of heading to Spain Ghoddos turned up in France to sign for the French side Amiens.

This FIFA rule is reminiscent of the one handed to Mehdi Taremi on September 2017. A Persepolis player at the time , all parties agreed on terms of the contract to transfer to Turkey’s Çaykur Rizespor Club. At that time, Taremi was suspended for four months after unilaterally breaking his contract and returning back to Iran. Taremi’s suspension meant his absence from Team Melli

Persepolis was also banned from two transfer windows. It came at a time when Iran has already qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2018  and its presence at the Russian World Cup was assured. Taremi declined to appeal to CAS for fear of prolonging the proceedings and missing the World Cup all togother.

Carlos Queiroz, the then head coach of Team Melli, commented  “It certainly hurts both Taremi himself and Persepolis club as well as the fans. Even the national team suffers because the player cannot be mentally ready. What we need to do is keep the player mentally and physically fit for the next few months so that he doesn’t have problems with the international games. But what happened in 2017 was a strange and shameful act that is damaging to Iranian football’s reputation and one has to accept responsibility for it.” the Portuguese concluded.

About two years later, Saman Goddos is committing the same act of indiscretion. Ghoddos , of course, has the right to appeal and he might succeed in reducing the ban, although it is quite doubtful. The point that needs emphasis, however, is the lack of professionalism and poor awareness of Iranian players.  It does not take a distinguished person to realize that contracts have to be honored and breaking it is unlawful.  It is not only about the law but also the ethics and integrity of a person involved in a contract.

The lack of success of the many Iranian players in Europe can be summarized in one main phrase, lack of professionalism. That of course entails, ethics, commitments, teamwork, team integration and dedication. Iranian players seemed to be poorly prepared for Europe and the lack of true professional management and advisors has reduced their value and potential to succeed outside Iran. Saman Ghoddos should have known much better as he grew up in the European environment, but!

Marc Wilmots has not yet commented on the Ghoddos suspension.


Ezzatollahi welcomed in KAS Eupen

Team Melli’s 22-year-old midfielder who has joined the Belgian side KAS Eupen on a one-year loan spell from Russian Premier League side Rostov, has been welcomed and praised by his coach.

“Saeid Ezzatollahi proved his talent and abilities in the Russian league. He also represented Iran national football team in the 2018 World Cup and played in group matches against Spain and Portugal. Although he is only 22, he has played 28 times for the Iran national team,” Henkel told lavenir.net.

“I am confident that Ezzatollahi will be a real reinforcement for our team and will help us in the current season. We welcome Saeid to KAS Eupen and wish him every success in our club,” he added.

Ezatolahi is the fifth Iranian player in Belgian First Division League.

Ali Gholizadeh, Kaveh Rezaei, Milad Mohammadi and Younes Delfi are also playing in Belgian teams.

Iranian Ladies referees to whistle in UEFA tournament.

Zari Fathi and Gelareh Nazemi , two of top Women Futsal referees in Iran , are off to Portugal to referee the UEFA Women Futsal Cup.

The Iranian Football Federation has reported  that the duo will be refereeing in the European Nations Futsal Cup. The Women’s European competition is now down to 4 semi finalist teams. with Portugal, Russia, Spain and Ukraine. The competition will start  on  26th and finish on 28 February. The European Women’s Futsal Championship stage was held in four groups of four teams, with four leading teams qualifying for the final stages of the competition.

It is a unique recognition for Iranian ladies and the first time they will whistle in European competitions after excelling in the Iranian domestic league and the Asian championships. Saying that, both the referees are seasoned and experienced campaigners and hold the FIFA Futsal refereeing badge.

Gelareh Nazemi is not the first Iranian international referee, nor even the first woman to referee men’s events, but her selection for Olympics futsal competition made her a houehold name in the country.

It is yet another victory for Iranian girls and a definite sign of their passion and desire to be the best at many levels in face of a regime that has forced them to be second fiddle to their men and restricted many of their activities including wearing Hijab by force and fully covered attire even in sports that is restricting their movement or at times creating risks of injury.


Forest Boss is all praise for Karim Ansarifard

While Nottingham Forest forward Lewis Grabban snaffled up his tenth goal of the season as well as three points for the Reds, as they beat previously table-topping Sheffield United 1-0 at the City Ground and the £6m striker grabbed the spotlight again, Forest boss Aitor Karanka is delighted to have further strengthened his attacking arsenal with the capture of the Team Melli Striker, Karim Ansarifard.

Forest had to be patient while working through significant red tape to complete the signing of the 28-year-old, who had his contract with Olympiacos terminated in August, in order to facilitate his move to the Championship.

“I am really pleased to have signed him. I knew that the day would arrive,” said Karanka, who gave the player his debut as a substitute, deep into injury time. “The day has arrived yesterday, which was really good, given that we need him.

“The delay was to do with the work permit. I don’t know the exact details, but it was only ever a question of getting the right paperwork.”
I am just pleased to have him because, even in the two minutes he had on the pitch, he showed that he is crazy to play for this team.”

Karanka says Ansarifard is fit and ready to go – but says he will need some time to adapt to the Championship.

“He is fully fit and ready to go, but he will need time to settle in, having arrived in this league from another country,” said Karanka. “But he is a professional and he is a winner. I am positive.”
“He scored 17 goals for Olympiacos and he has quality. He is a good finisher.

“To score goals we need to get the ball into the box and you need players to be arriving into the box at the right time.

“We have good players and we are arriving at the right time. We have very good strikers. We have Lewis, we have Daryl (Murphy) and now we have Karim as well.

“Now we have another alternative. He is a good player and another player who is a very good person and a good teammate for the changing room.

“He only played one or two minutes, but the run he made in the last seconds can show you how hungry he is; how much he wants to help the team. “He is a good man and a good player, so I am really pleased with him.”

Karim made the cameo appearance with the minimal of preparation in the 90th minute of the game.

Three team Melli players play in the English leagues. Apart from Karim, Alireza Jahanbakhsh plays for Brighton and Saeid Ezatolahi plays for Reading in the Championship.

Morteza Pouraliganji on his way out of QSL

Morteza Pouraliganji is on his way out of Al Sadd after his contract expired with the Qatar Stars League QSL side. He is a free agent now.

In an interview with Mehr News, Team Melli’s defender said “I was a defensive midfielder, but I’ve been playing in the central defense for some years, Carlos Queiroz told me he was sure that his progress at the central defense will be 50% more than my previous post. It was hard for me to be in the post for the first month and I did not know how to play, as I have already played in the post of defensive midfielder for long time.”

Commenting on his experience in the FIFA World Cup , he mentioned the Spanish striker Diego Costa as saying: “Costa is one of the most roughest and ill-mannered football players I’ve seen over the years. I was even afraid to look into his eyes.”

The  Team Melli defender, talked about his tears while hugging Portugal defender Pepe after the match ended in a draw thus eliminating Iran from the World Cup  “Pepe is a professional and has seen a lot of these things. He said you played quite you should be proud well and keep your head raised”

Referring to his status in Qatari Al-Sadd,  Pouraliganji said: “I mentioned my demand for a renewal of the contract , which was not  agreed upon. I said goodbye to this group and will not play against Esteghlal in  AFC Champions League Quarter finals. I also spoke to Xavi on this.

Pouraliganji  has negotiated with orther Qatar and the Turkish League sides,  “Whatever demand I have will be offered by these clubs but I am not just looking for money.  I am 26 years old and it’s time to leave Qatar for a regular European team.”