Tag: Uruguay

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.

Iran hope to spin chaos into gold at World Cup with Queiroz’s comeback

John Duerden
Sun 25 Sep 2022 08.00 BST

Iran’s government is more involved than most in football – clubs are owned directly or indirectly by the state – but it keeps a closer eye than usual on the beloved national team at times of public unrest.

After the famous World Cup playoff win over Australia in 1997, the players were told to take their time coming home lest their presence pushes nationwide celebrations into something else.

The 2009 ‘Green Movement’ that sprang up to demonstrate against what was seen as a rigged presidential election led to a number of players wearing green armbands in a vital qualifier in Seoul. Within hours their pictures were being held up on the streets thousands of miles to the west.

Protestors are back on Iran’s streets after the death of Mahsa Amini in custody after she was arrested by the morality police on 13 September for “unsuitable attire”. If unrest continues, then any success at the World Cup, which is eight weeks away, may be viewed as a double-edged sword by authorities; and, if the latest international matches are anything to go by, then Iran are going to Qatar to be competitive against England, the USA and Wales who all lost.

In the first game since Carlos Queiroz returned as head coach this month, Team Melli beat Uruguay 1-0 in Austria. Thanks to international isolation and sanctions, it is rare that Iran play such opposition in friendlies, but this only highlights that this is one of the country’s best results in years. It is all the more impressive as it comes after months of chaos, infighting, and interference.

It started with being drawn with England and the USA. From Iran’s point of view, there could not have been two bigger and more symbolic opponents.

These are two nations with deep involvement in the modern history of one of the world’s oldest civilizations and which are held responsible for the 1953 coup that overthrew the democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh.

They are two nations that are still seen as being behind many of the problems that the country, beset by sanctions internationally and unrest at home, is facing and two national teams that present formidable opposition for one that had never progressed from the group stage in five World Cup appearances.

After the draw, however, with the group rivals all having homegrown managers, there were whispers that Iran should, for such symbolic games, have an Iranian coach.

Yet it was a Croatian, Dragan Skocic who took over in February 2020 and led the team through qualification with 15 wins in 18 games. On 9 July Iran’s volleyball team defeated Serbia in the Men’s Nations League. The following day a social media account of Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, reposted an old entry with a new title saying it was good to have success with an Iranian coach.

While it was later denied that this was expressing any opinion about what should happen with Team Melli, on 11 July Skocic was fired even though it seemed there were not enough board members around to sign the official document confirming his release. Reaction to the decision was mixed and even those not enamored of Skocic felt he had been treated poorly. Ali Daei was the frontrunner but quickly ruled himself out and other candidates did not set pulses racing.

Skocic was back on the job within a week but it was impossible to pretend that nothing had happened. The team was as split as public opinion. The striker Mehdi Taremi had an earlier falling out with the coach and led the contingent who wanted a change. It was even claimed that the Porto star and some teammates had met Iran’s minister of sports. Bayer Leverkusen’s Sardar Azmoun was the highest-profile backer of Skocic.

It was always going to be decided one way or the other at the end of August with the election of a new federation president. Mehdi Taj, who had been the president from 2016-19 and had worked with Queiroz, said openly he would consider bringing the former Real Madrid head coach back if he won.

Due to a lack of domestic options, Queiroz was seen as the next best thing; available and cheap, high-profile, familiar with the players and the politics, and more than capable of setting a team up to ensure there would be no World Cup embarrassments.

Skocic had earlier blamed “various interests” for trying to create tensions in the team but this time stayed quiet and focused on staying and securing his payout (sources have suggested that he allowed this to be set too low, making his dismissal fairly cheap). His supporters suggest there is some irony in a coach who successfully steered his team through qualification for the World Cup being replaced by one who failed with both Colombia and Egypt.

That will not bother Queiroz, a coach not averse to conflict and controversy. It was as if he had never left against Uruguay. Whatever the divisions in recent weeks, there did not seem to be a problem with team spirit, and Iran worked hard to frustrate the South Americans, snatching a late win. Taremi’s goal was a fine finish to a flowing move.

There are bigger issues at play right now in this football-loving country but after months of chaos, it could be that Team Melli have stumbled upon the right formula, even if it is a short-term one. At the very least Iran sent a message to the rest of Group B, not least to their first opponents, England.

Why it was so hard to see Iran vs. Uruguay, a World Cup warm-up game in Austria

Mark Ogden
Senior Writer, ESPN FC

ST. POLTEN, Austria — It was supposed to be just a game, nothing more than a World Cup warm-up friendly between Iran and Uruguay in a sleepy town in rural Austria. Perhaps it’d be a perfect opportunity to scout an Iranian team that will face the United States and England in Group B at Qatar 2022 in two months’ time. But the reality turned out to be something different.

Instead of a regular international fixture, it became an event at the heart of the growing campaign of unrest in Iran surrounding women’s rights, and a focal point for a young population demanding change. The game was scheduled to be played behind closed doors — though fans from both teams were surprisingly allowed into the stadium shortly before kickoff — at the insistence of the Iranian government. They were reportedly fearful of domestic issues being given a public platform in Europe, to the extent that phone calls and WhatsApp messages to the Iranian Football Federation (IFF), simply seeking information on the team schedule and access to the coach, Carlos Queiroz, went unanswered.

The silence also extended to ESPN and other media outlets being told 24 hours before the game that the IFF, under pressure from the regime in Tehran, would not allow journalists into St. Polten’s NV Arena to report on the fixture. “To our greatest discomfort,” the match organizers said via email, “we have to inform you that the entrance to the match Iran vs Uruguay has been denied. This decision was made by the Iranian FA.”

It required the intervention of FIFA, and mediation by Europe-based Iranian journalists, to cause a U-turn on the day of the game. A suggestion that media could attend if they handed over mobile phones before entering the stadium did not materialize, but it was made clear that no interviews with players or Queiroz would be allowed before or after the game.

While the urbane Queiroz was welcoming and cooperative with media at the Pyramide Hotel on the outskirts of Vienna on the day before the game, there was a palpable sense of anxiety and paranoia among the Iranian officials who tried to persuade the former Real Madrid coach to cancel his briefing. Given that the football team is one of the few visible elements of a restricted society in Iran — they face England, the U.S., and Wales in the World Cup this winter — every element of team coverage, particularly during such volatile political times, is guaranteed to attract close scrutiny from the regime in Tehran.

One Austria-based Iran fan smiled and said, “Everything is fine and totally normal in Iran,” when asked about the possibility of protest from those who had turned out to cheer the arrival of the team bus. Moments later, he returned alone to say he had family in Iran and was too worried to speak to western media, but that “even in small cities, people are protesting right now.”

When fans were inexplicably allowed into the game, two spectators were marched out of the ground by police midway through the first half of Iran’s 1-0 win. They had a protest placard in support of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman who died in police custody in Iran last week after being charged with wearing a headscarf improperly.

In the end, a game intended to be about assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a team that will compete in Qatar this November turned out to be the very definition of a political football.

Team Melli defeats Uruguay in a friendly international

The Portugues head coach Carlos Queiroz made a winning start to his second term in charge of Team Melli as Mehdi Taremi’s second-half goal earned his side a 1-0 win over fellow World Cup qualifiers Uruguay in St. Pölten, Austria on Friday. 

Although the overall assessment of the team under the new cum old Portuguese coach can be graded as average, there were some good points that Iran can positively take to the World Cup.

In the first half, Team Melli’s priority was to shut shop and keep their defenses tight for most of the half. Uruguay, which included its household names such as Luis Suarez , Darwin Nunez and Valverde, had most of the possession in the first half and launched attacks on Iran’s goal, but the solid defense of Team Melli stood up well to whatever the Uruguayns forwards offered. Darwin Nunez prompted Alireza Beiranvand to take action after 15 minutes when the Liverpool striker let fly from distance, forcing the Iranian goalkeeper to tip the ball over the bar.

Luis Suarez sought to lob Beiranvand in the 38th minute but his attempt sailed over while a later effort from the former Barcelona forward curled wide.

In a wise and logical thinking, Queiroz stuck to the tried and trusted duo of Shoja’a Khalizadeh and Hossein Kananizadegan who did not allow Beiranvand to be seriously threatened. On the other hand, Team Melli managed to reach the opponent’s penalty area on several occasions, but could not seriously threaten the goal of their South American opponent.

Uruguay side lost Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo to injury after he hobbled off with barely a minute on the clock clutching his groin.

The first half ended in a goalless draw as both teams lacked the punch to score.

The second half started like the first 45 minutes, with the Uruguayan national team having the majority of ball possession and controlling the midfield creating many chances to score, but in several scenes, Alireza Beiranvand thwarted their attempts .

The best opportunity for Iran to score was in the 65th minute when Mehdi Torabi in good teamwork with Saman Ghoddos breached the Uruguay defense and was close to opening the scoresheet. The final shot by Torabi was parried by Sergio Rochet the Uruguayan goalkeeper and on the second attempt, Torabi’s shot went wide of the goal.
Sardar Azmoun could not create any significant threat to the Uruguay goal until he was substituted. Alireza Jahanbakhsh started an attack, but the final shot by Ehsan Haji Safi was easily handled by Uruguay’s goalkeeper. In the 66th minute, Uruguay was on the verge of scoring, as Abedzadeh missed a cross from an Uruguay corner kick but the header from this team’s striker was cleared off the line by Mehdi Torabi.

Late in the match, Queiroz decided wisely to change the lineup to give the team some needed energy.  , He sent several players including Taremi and Ansarifard to the field in the last 20 minutes. These substitutions improved the situation for Team Melli and the result was decided by Taremi in the 79th minute.
The forward started and finished the move, feeding Saman Ghoddos on the left, and his pass through to Karim Ansarifard was played back into the path of Taremi who side-footed home to score the winning goal of the match and to the delight of the bench.

In the final minutes, Uruguay was looking to compensate for the lost goal and its hope was Suarez in the attack line. In the 89th minute, this player was preparing to shoot at Abedzadeh’s goal behind the penalty area, when Ezatollahi gave away a free kick in a dangerous area with a foul on Suarez. The resulting free kick hit the body of the Iranian defense and an opportunity went missing for the South Americans.

In the end, Queiroz managed to outfox Uruguay’s coach Diego Alonso and achieve a promising victory in Team Melli’s first of the two friendly international matches. This win is valuable for Queiroz as he has precious little time to prepare the team until the first game in the FIFA World Cup.

With England (vs Italy 0-1), Wales (vs Belgium 1-2), and the USA (vs Japan 0-2) all losing their matches in the international break, Iran’s hope and confidence to qualify from this group is certainly not that impossible.


Venue: NV ARENA (St. Pölten)
Referee: Walter Altmann (Austria)
Half time : 0 – 0

Scorer: Mehdi Taremi (79′)
Yelloe card : Uruguay R. Bentancur (81′)

IRAN – A. Beiranvand (63′ Abedzadeh): S. Moharrami , S. Khalilzadeh, H. Kanani, A. Jalali(69’Noorafkan), E. Hajsafi, S. Ezatolahi, M. Torabi( 69′ A. Gholizadeh), S. Azmoun (68′ K. Ansarifard), S. Ghoddos (85’V. Amiri), A. Jahanbakhsh (68’M. Taremi)

URUGUAY -S. Rochet, D. Suárez (72’G. Varela), M. Olivera (85’M. Viña), R. Araújo (5’A. Rogel), S. Cáceres,M. Vecino (72’G. De Arrascaeta), R. Bentancur (85′ L. Torreira), F. Valverde , F. Pellistri (46’N. De La Cruz), L. Suárez, D. Núñez

Iran vs Uruguay match preview.

Uruguay is a known quality Latin American team that depends on physical strength more than the finesse of the Brazilians.
Like the top footballing nations of South America, Uruguay has exported large numbers of footballers to Europe to enjoy the riches of the European leagues. Therefore, Head Coach Diego Alonso has a wealth of players at his disposal and can always field a strong side against any opponent.
However, Uruguay national team has recently suffered from aging players who tend to hang on despite their advancing ages. Players like Luis Suárez (35); Diego Godín (36) Edison Cavani (35) and Fernando Muslera (36) are still included in the squad.
Undoubtedly Alonso will use the match against Iran to give his younger players the chance to prove themselves as worthy of a place in the final list flying to Doha while putting them through their paces against a tough opponent. So, it is expected that Darwin Núñez (23), Federico Valverde (24), Matías Viña (24), Ronald Araújo (23) Lucas Torreira (26) to take the center stage.

As for Iran, it will interesting to see if Carlos Queiroz will stick to his old and trusted game plan and close all the gaps on the Uruguayans or perhaps be more adventurous with the likes of Azmoun and Taremi up front. Defense is one of the strong points of the Latin American team and the Iranians will it quite difficult to breach the defenses of Uruguay. With somehow a modest midfield that lacks creativity, most of the offensive moves by Iran are expected to be made from the half-backs with players Rezaeian, Moharrami, and Mohammadi doing the work.
Another interesting observation is whom will Queiroz pick for central defense, will he stay with the duo Khalilzadeh-Kananizadegan who were fundamental in Iran’s qualification to the FIFA World Cup and the two that Dragan Skocic religiously believed in, or will the Portuguese pick his own favorites from 2019 Majid Hosseini and Pouralganji?

Queiroz keeps the cards close to his heart and so far he has been following the same style. He is not going to reveal much to the press about his game plans and player selection either. However, it was interesting to notice some observers during Queiroz’s press conference that the Portuguese has slightly changed his attitude that he was well known in Iran. That venomous, tough-talking, and defying man has become a cooler and more settled character. Perhaps it is a sign of advancing age or it could be that Portugues no longer wants to open fronts against everyone and everybody, preferring to work quietly and avoid confrontations, especially with the press. Of course, officially he is only contracted to the bench of Team Melli until the World Cup with an option for extension.

For some players m this match is vital though. Saman Ghoddos needs to prove himself as this player has stagnated. He is one of the few players that can turn the team’s fortunes with his magical passes and vision. It is a crucial time for him and Team Melli.  Ansarifard‘s selection is because he is one of the Portuguese favorites but his performance has not been anything to shout about, the same can be said of Hajsafi. Both are capable players and can be useful for Team Melli but they really need to step up and be counted. There are more capable players who can claim a place in the team.

Beiranvand is another player on the edge. He had two bad seasons in Europe and Abedzadeh took the number one spot and showed quite a bit of class too. No doubt that Beiranvand is in the good books of the coach, but will he prove his worth against Uruguay?

Azmoun’s case is puzzling. The move to the Bundesliga so far has been a big-time flop. In European leagues, there is precious little time for a player to settle and Azmoun for one reason or another did not manage that with Bayer Leverkusen. He needs to play well against Uruguay and prove his worth for Team Melli at least.

Kick Off time is GMT +3
Iran Time: 20:30

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.