Tag: Yemen

Iran U17 through to the quarter-finals

Pathum Thani: Their morale might have been dampened after a draw in their previous match against Qatar, but Iran U17 responded with a stellar showing in their final AFC U17 Asian Cup™ Thailand 2023 Group B clash against Korea Republic.

Two quick-fire goals in the first half saw them win 2-0 at the Pathum Thani Stadium on Thursday and qualify as group winners for the knockout stage – their eighth time in 12 appearances and first since 2016, where they went on to finish as runners-up.

Iran will meet Yemen in the quarter-finals on Sunday 25th June while Korea Republic will face Thailand

#AFCU17 - Group B | Korea Republic 0 - 2 Islamic Republic of Iran

The pride on Hossein Abdi’s face was clear as he addressed the media after the match and praised the way his charges shut out opponents who had scored a tournament-high 10 goals.

“Korea are a very good team and we saw that when we analyzed them before the match,” he said. “We had a gameplan to stop them from attacking quickly and after that, we got the first goal and then got another one.”

“We closed down every aspect of their (attacking) game… I am proud of all the things they did tonight.

“It was a very nice game with both teams playing tactically to attack and stop each other… I think it was one of the best matches of the tournament (so far).”

Byun Sung-hwan, whose team had already qualified for the quarter-finals after winning their first two matches, admitted that the seven changes he made to the starting line-up affected the team’s chemistry and usual style of play.

The 43-year-old congratulated the Iranians on the result and preferred not to dwell on the loss, believing that it is more useful and imperative to learn from the experience.

“The result was bad but I think we gained a lot of things (perspectives),” he said. “We changed players as the (more) important point was the quarter-finals; we were able to preserve the condition of the (first-team) players and were able to try many different options.

“Our original plan was to dominate the match but it was not that smooth-going. In the first half, Iran played simply, as expected, but our defense reacted quite slow… so we have to prepare to face that kind of playing style in the future.

“Through this experience, I hope it will be helpful for our team for the rest of the tournament.”

The victory was Iran’s second in as many meetings – they beat the East Asians in the 2008 final for their only title to date – and while it was one to savour, Abdi stressed that it was more important that his charges are able to enjoy playing, regardless of any result.

He had initiated more social activities after the stalemate with Qatar, where a dominant display did not reap any goals, such as putting on funny movies, to ensure they could recover mentally and maintain a positive mindset.

It appeared to work, as the Central Asians ran their socks off and chased every loose ball, and in a moment of spontaneity, did a few push-ups in unison after the final whistle to celebrate.

“Players at this age need to develop and they should also enjoy the matches,” Abdi explained. “I am their coach not only for today and yesterday, but also for the long term. 

“I have to know how to improve them physically and mentally…With young players, we cannot be forcing them to be like machines, we have to give them some good experiences, because they are players for the future.”

“When you win against a good team, everyone is happy and they wanted to show that (with the push-ups), and I don’t blame them for keeping themselves motivated. 

“We are not here just for competition, but also to share our feelings, joy, and excitement with each other.”

Iran football body slams AFC ban on hosting international matches

The Iranian Football Federation (FFIRI) has said it would stand up to the “illegal” decision by the Asian Football Confederation AFC to prevent the country from hosting any international matches on Iranian soil.

Federation Acting Chief Heidar Baharvand said the federation and managers of the four teams playing in the AFC Champions League held an extraordinary meeting on Saturday and decided unanimously to reject the decision.

“The Iranian Football Federation, clubs and officials unitedly oppose it and will definitely stand up to this decision,” said Bahrvand.

Baharvand told state television that if the ban was not reversed, all teams would withdraw from the AFC Champions League. Iran has four teams – Persepolis, Esteghlal, Sepahan and Shahr Khodro – in the AFC Champions League.

The federation on Friday said it had received a letter from the AFC saying all matches involving Iranian clubs would be held at a neutral venue.

The Iranians did not say if any reason was given or if the decision was related to the accidental downing of a Ukrainian jetliner last week and the tension between the United States and Iran in the wake of the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani.

Iran is reeling under a “maximum pressure” campaign by the US after President Donald Trump pulled his country out of a landmark nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

AFC to meet on Sunday

A federation official on Friday said Iran’s sports ministry had provided the required security guarantees to the AFC and pointed out that the country hosted the final of the 2018 edition at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.

The AFC’s position is still reversible as the body’s executive committee is scheduled to hold a session on Sunday to make a final decision.

“We must host matches because this is our people’s right. We should not deprive our spectators in hosting games. This is our absolute right and we insist on it,” Bahrvand said.

FFIRI spokesman Amir Mahdi Alavi was quoted by the semi-official Mehr news agency as saying Iran is “fully ready to host various teams as it has repeatedly proven during the past several years”.

Meanwhile, Persepolis club’s chief executive director Mohammad Hassan Ansarifard said there is “no safer space in the Middle East and West Asia than Iran”.

“It is the right of Iranian teams to benefit from the presence of their spectators,” he said, according to the club’s website.

Iran’s men’s football team has participated in 14 editions of the AFC Asian Cup, winning three titles since the country’s first appearance in 1968.

The AFC ban has angered fans in Iran, where football is the most popular sport. Social media posts with the hashtag #ACLneedIranFans trended on Twitter.

The  AFC has not published the justifications behind this ban and if the proper mechanism has been activated to reach such a decision. Insiders claim that there has been pressure applied by the Arab countries to apply this ban lead by Kuwait, despite the fact that the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) chairman Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah intervened to side with Iran on this issue..

There is no UN Security Council declaration that Iran is indeed a war zone., while Saudi Arabia which is at war in Yemen and has been subjected to missiles and drone airstrikes one of which nearly destroyed the Abqiq Oil processing facility. (see below)

A photograph taken by the commercial satellite company Planet shows the Abqaiq facility shortly after an attack on Sept. 14.

Omid Team to start the long road to Olympics in earnest.

Iran will kickstart their 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers campaign from 22nd March in Tehran. The team, known as Omid Team, is under the guidance of the seasoned Croat coach Zlatko Krancjar and will lock horns against Turkmenistan in their first match before crossing swords against Yemen two days later and finally, their strongest rival, Iraq on 26th March.

Omid team held has held a series of training sessions and camps including playing friendly games against Syria and Jordan prior to the competition. Omid Team also played in a competition in Qatar where three U-23 teams took part. Iran won the title of that round ribbon tournament.

Tehran is hosting Group C of 2020 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers

 In preparation for the matches starting tomorrow, a post-match conference was held at the National Iranian National Football Center’s conference hall where all the coaches expressed optimism for their team’s chances while Iraqi and Yemeni coach criticized the AFC plans for the Olympic Games qualifiers.

At the beginning of the press conference, Turkmen coach Bayram Dordayiev said: “I know Iran’s football quite well, since I worked in Iran for several years. Iran’s football has a a colorful history and has produced players such as Ali Daei, Mehdi Mahdavikia and Ali Parvin in its history. Football is strong and powerful in this country. Iran is strong in the Olympics age group and has a youth team that plays well in defense and attack. We have a tough group. Iran and Iraq are powerful teams and we have information about them. Ultimately, the result of any match cannot be predicted but only the playing field will dictate the victorious and superior team.”

Iran’s coach, Zlatko Krancjar, said: “First of all, I wish to congratulate everyone on the occasion of the Persian New Year and welcome my colleagues from Turkmenistan, Yemen and Iraq to Iran. Apart from Iraq, we do not know adequate knowledge about the other two teams, we only know the Iraqi team and played two games and hopefully in the coming days we will be able to get the necessary knowledge of the other competitors.”

About the final list of 23 players in the squad, Head coach or Iran U23 team, Krancjar said  “We should announce the list beforehand. We set up this list, and the promise is that it can deliver our objectives. Some clubs did not cooperate with the team by holding their players.  Apart from the damage that was done because of that, there is no particular problem in the team. We were looking at the legionnaires, but the domestic players were better and more prepared”

Referring to the use of players outside the Iranian league, he said ” We have Reza Shekari from Russia but  we do not have Younis Delphi due to injury.”

Iraqi coach Abdul Ghani Shahid said: “We have great hopes to qualify. We succeeded in qualifying to the Rio Olympics in the last competition and hope we can repeat it again. Many think that Iraq and Iran will qualify from this group, but I believe the standards are too close to call. Asian Football Confederation has made a strange plan for the tournament. The AFC, which always pays particular attention to the quality of the players and the quality of the tournament, holds tournaments in tandem, and this affects the quality of the work. We did not use adult players in the tournament because they were engaged in the AFC Asian Cup with the senior team and subsequently entered this competition without them by using younger players.”

Yemeni coach Sammy Na’ash also spoke at the press conference “We are in a tough and strong group. The two teams from Iraq and Iran have a special lead in this group. The AFC’s planning for this tournament is not desirable, and competitions are held with the least rest for the players. We started the preparation program very late and we encountered a lot of problems, but we are doing our best to produce a good and decent performance.”

Notes from the Asian Cup 2019 – First round.


The Asian Cup which is held in UAE, has brought a lot of interest from sport community across Asia and from other parts of the world. The media is buzzing and reporters from far places have gathered to cover this major event. The Japanese, by far, are the biggest group.

Iranian media is present as always, but I cannot help notice the smaller numbers, relatively speaking, compared to the previous tournaments. The economic situation in Iran and the exchange rate of the Riyal to dollar has a massive effect on this shortage. It is three times more expensive for the Iranians to travel abroad and that is if they are lucky to get the hard currency.  Iranian football federation FFIRI, which has always subsided and supported a number of journalists to cover major Asian completions and especially the Asian Cups, has found itself in dire straits this year. Simply put, there are not enough funds to support larger number of media personnel.


The first match against Yemen was disappointing in the number of Iranian fans. Although, the majority of the 5300 fans in Al Jazeera Club Stadium were Team Melli fans, it was less than expected in a country that has a large number of Iranian expatriates.  But, even with those small number, the Team Melli fans like always, were colorful, vociferous and  cheering the team all the way to the end.

With that famous chants of “Iran Chikaresh Mikoone…Soorakh Soorakhas Mikone” reverberating through the stands, it gave the stadium a fantastic atmosphere which many foreign journalist who have never attended Iran matches before, a sense of appreciation and admiration. “You should experience 100,000 fans do that in Azadi…Now, that is will surely energize your adrenaline.“  I told some of them.

The fans played its expected role in supporting the players and for that Team Melli players showed them respect and went toward both sections to thank the fans.


Carlos Queiroz seems to be calm and collected person during interviews and press conferences. It does not reflect his character on the field and during training with the players. Whatever pros and cons he has , at the end of the day and for what it is worth, he is the perfect coach for Team Melli and I hope his legacy stays in Iran for a long time.

Iranians by nature are not a much disciplined nation in the style of Japanese and Europeans.  That reflects on players naturally. In football, lack of discipline is a recipe for disaster.   Years after years of watching Iranian football, I have detected this lack of discipline in and out of the field by even the most famous and popular players. In fact, the most popular they were and more indiscipline. There is one shining exception in Ali Daei.  Carlos Queiroz has changed all that. He showed and continues showing his players and staff f the meaning of discipline and respect. For that alone, this man deserves accolades and one hopes his legacy in Team Melli stays for a long time to come.


But Queiroz has this other side of his character , the combative !

After the match with Yemen, I was not alone in thinking that there were some wild tackles flying from Iranian players on the opposition. Really uncalled for in a game against weak opposition like Yemen where risks of yellow or even worst red card is present. Many Foreign and Iranian journalist thought that this was not necessarily, while some put it to player’s nerves in the first match.

In the post press conference, however, Queiroz was in total denial mentioning an incident that Azmoun pushed a Yemeni player to the ground. Queiroz defended his star player by saying that the Yemeni player pushed first!!! Mr. Queiroz….this is NOT a school yard where a boy pushes a boy to the ground and beats him up because that boy shoved first. A simple act like that push by Azmoun and he could have ended up in the shower because of violent conduct, subsequently suffering through a day off in the next match.

Arab teams are notoriously famous for provocation and Queiroz after so many years in this area should know much better than excuse his players for retaliation!  Has he already forgotten what happened to Mehrdad Pooladi in Australia against Iraq???

Mutual respect between coaches, but Queiroz is promising nothing!

Abu Dhabi

teammelli.com report

The pre-match press conference of Iran vs Yemen match was conducted in Mohammed Bin Zayed stadium earlier today.

Iran Conference.

Masoud Shojaei, who accompanied Carlos Queiroz started the press conference responding to teammelli.com question of “What is the level of the team performance in the match ahead that will satisfy him? Will the team be inspired and go forward with a narrow straight forward win , or a big score margin?”

 The Captain of Team Melli simply said “We want to be ourselves and play like we always play”

Questions then were asked of Queiroz, Answering about his statement that Yemen game is a final in itself; Queiroz said that there was a misunderstanding of what he has said.

“I didn’t say the game against Yemen was the most important game, I simply said that we will take each game as it comes and take it seriously. We are focusing on Yemen game, one game at the time.”

On his opinion on which team is the black horse of the championship.

 Queiroz said “As far as I am concerned , Japan and South Korea are the two top contenders as they have invested heavily in football, have expansive youth program, quality infrastructure and they have the resources.”

“Next comes  Australia  with and couple of dreamers!  20 or 21 other dreamers” as Queiroz put it.

Asked about his aspiration in the championship , Queiroz said that he does not consider his team as title contender. “All I can say is that we will try to be better and if we win we win deservedly. “

On the conditions of the players, The head coach of Team Melli said  “2 major players were not able to recover for the game on time, fortunately we have other options to replace them. It is not a major concern for us and I am happy with the situation, Injuries can happen to any team. UAE lost Omar Abdulrahman for the tournament and it already has a big impact on them”

Question ” Is there any lessons to be learned from the two games already played, UAE drew with Bahrain and title holder Australia lost to Jordan?

“It is always a warning for big teams. No team has a credit card that tells it that it is the favorite.  We have to display our abilities. Yemen has a good coach, I praise him for working under difficult conditions, and they have beautiful players.”

“We are looking to play a good match that entertains the fans and makes them happy; we do have the ability to display such standard.”

A question was asked by a reporter saying that Team Melli fans and indeed Iranian all across the world  followed you for many years now, what do you have to present to them in this championship?

“ We can’t control the outcome of the game!. We can control our commitment and attitude. I always challenge my players to play so that the fans are proud of them. Display positive attitude inside the pitch. Personally I feel proud if that is achieved”


Queiroz refrained from giving any promises apart from playing to entertain, as he put it. Short of entertainment, he has not declared or publicaly announced any championship aspiration as he puts Iran in the dreamers group with another 21 teams that plays second fiddle to Japan and Korea.

It is indeed a confusing and perhaps shattering statements for some fans who expect nothing less than lifting the trophy after 43 years of absence. It shows how Queiroz is detached from the public sentiments but if he really has such aspirations, then he is holding his cards close to his heart.

It needs no reminder that Queiroz is following his old and trusted style. By constantly reminding the world about the lack of resources in Iran and glorifying the opposition, even Yemen, he is limiting expectations. A win is a bonus but a loss is expected as he would easily respond by saying “I told you so”

Querioz has successfully navigated rough terrains of Iranian football by following such policy. Today he downplayed any championship expectation but it is not clear if the crowds like such lack of ambition.

Team Melli Training

The media was allowed to attend the first 15 minutes of the practice which was entirely dedicated to stretching exercise and light training with and without the ball. The goalkeepers then formed their own mini group and  headed to far side for shooting training.

Player formed several circles passing the ball between themselves.

While a group was passing the ball, Biranvand got whacked in the face. The players of the group surrounded him to console him. It looked painful, but he emerged out of it laughing.

Stretching exercises while the press was allowed to watch was carried out in a jolly spirit. Some players displayed exceptional control of the ball.

Jahanbakhsh individually trained with Montazerri. He looked quite sharp despite his chances of playing against Yemen is slim.

YEMEN Press Conference

Yemen’s Czech trainer expressed his views in the formal diplomatic style that coaches deploy nowadays. Calling Iran as one of the best Asian teams that has played very well in Russia’s World Cup, he said he has no delusions about that he expects and what he can be achieved. He has studied Iran and knows that his team has a difficult task ahead, however, he has asked his team to play to their best ability. On the troubles and war in Yemen, Jan Kocian said that most of the selection was carried out by his assistant and the Coaching team, though the training camp that was carried out in Saudi Arabia was quite valuable as they have played several games too.

Alaa Al Sasi , the star player of Yemen team  was asked if he has thought of any opposition player that the team need to control or limit his threats , he said that the coach has reviewed Iran thoroughly and we accept all their players are quite good but there is no plan to focus on any single player of Iran.

Kocian was asked what he thinks of Queiroz, the Czech coach said as a coach he has a lot respect for his colleagues, Carlos Queiroz is no exception but saying that he is a good coach who is well known outside of Iran. He knows that Queiroz has faced some pressures from the media and there were some uncertainties, but he remains an excellent coach.

Iran and Yemen will meet in the opener of Group D of AFC Asian Cup 2019 in Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on the 7th January.

Jahanbakhsh doubtful for Yemen match.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh who has been suffering from a hamstring injury is doubtful for the first game of Team Melli in the AFC Asian Cup 2019.

The Brighton & Hove Albion winger has been sidelined for almost three weeks now. Although he has resumed training recently and even managed to join Team Melli squad for the Training Camp in Doha, his main focus was on light work and physical strength exercises. Jahanbakhsh did not play against Palestine or Qatar in the last two test matches before the tournament.

For Queiroz, Jahanbakhsh’s absence from the game against Yemen and even against Vietnam in the next match, will not be a major concern as Team Melli has enough strength in-depth to win both matches without Jahanbakhsh. However, starting from the match against Iraq and the next round matches, his presence is significant. The only other concern will be if Jahanbakhsh shows rusty signs because of  injury and lack of playing competitive football for some time.

Iran will meet Yemen in Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi in the first match of Group D of the AFC Asian Cup. In the other group match Vietnam will take on Iraq.

Jahanbakhsh is currently the most expensive Iranian player. A lot is expected from him after what was a disappointing World Cup. Along with Sardar Azmoun, he is the major hope of Team Melli in the Asian Cup.

Queiroz is not thinking beyond the first match in Asian Cup


Abu Dhabi: Carlos Queiroz will lead tournament favourites the Islamic Republic of Iran into the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 having instructed his players to focus on winning one game at a time as the nation aims to end a 43-year drought at the Continental championship.

The Portuguese coach leads a squad that leans heavily on the one that represented the country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia in the summer, with 18 of the players who impressed against Morocco, Spain and Portugal slated to make the trip to the UAE.

But while the strength in depth of Queiroz’s squad has the Iranians marked out as one of the nations fancied to win the title, the former Real Madrid coach claims his focus is solely on his side’s opening game against Yemen on January 7 in Abu Dhabi.

“It’s the first game and there are no small teams in the first game,” Queiroz told the-AFC.com. “Everyone’s hopes are open and the challenge is in front of everybody in the first game.

The first game is always the most difficult game in these kind of competitions because it’s everything for the winner and almost nothing for the loser in a short competition of three games. It is a game we need to win, like always. It’s a crucial game.

Iran go into the clash as Asia’s No. 1 ranked side while Yemen are 26th in Asia and 135th in the world, but Queiroz is wary of the threat posed by Jan Kocian’s team and knows his players must be fully focused on the task at hand.

“I was checking the results of the Iran national team in different competitions, at under 17s, under 20s, and never has Iran beaten Yemen in any official competition,” he said. “There’s a reason for that: Yemen might draw or lose, but Yemen are a tough team to beat.

When the game starts against Yemen, we need to get rid of the frustrations we have around the team and focus on ourselves. It’s about the 11 boys on the pitch that start the game against the Yemen team. It’s about the coaching staff, it’s about ourselves and we need to go for it.

We cannot start a game like this in the Asian Cup and think about anything else. It’s 90 minutes to play for the people, 90 minutes to play for the joy and happiness and pride of Iran.”

Iran have not won the AFC Asian Cup since the third of three consecutive titles in 1976, but the country remains one of the Continent’s strongest, with Queiroz leading the nation to back-to-back appearances at the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 2014 and 2018.

And although the country’s status among the elite of Asian football is undisputed, the 65-year-old continues to warn his players against complacency.

Of course, it is well known and recognised and well appreciated that the Iran national team have made fantastic progress in terms of attitude, organisation and discipline but the biggest mistake that happens around teams is that when you have good moments some people think that it’s enough, that we don’t need to do anything more,” he said.

They have the wrong perceptions that the other competitors are just sitting at home and watching us, but this is a completely wrong impression because Qatar is working hard, UAE, Saudi Arabia.

“They’re working harder because they saw the progress of Iran and they have put huge efforts into coming from behind. Palestine, all these teams, Vietnam. People think this competition is easy, but Vietnam have made fantastic progress over the last few years. They have a great mood in this moment because they have just won an important competition in Southeast Asia.”

We cannot follow on this track, where some people think that things are easy for us. It’s the opposite, because the people who want to think things are easy in football are just trying to jeopardise our hopes. We will be humble, respect all of our opponents and try to do our best.

With that in mind, Queiroz stresses that it is Yemen rather than who Iran might face at any other stage of the tournament – including the final in Abu Dhabi on February 1 – is uppermost in his mind.

In these kind of competitions there is no tomorrow if we don’t win the present and first of all our Asian Cup final is against Yemen,” he said. “I don’t care about anything else around us.

And when we finish the game against Yemen, then it’s time to think about Vietnam and after that Iraq. For the moment I want to develop this kind of instinct in my team, to keep all of our energy so that it explodes in the 90 minutes against Yemen. All the rest doesn’t count for us.”

Iran hampered by usual issues ahead of bid to end drought

 (Reuters) – Turmoil and uncertainty have become constant companions for the Iranian national team, but coach Carlos Queiroz will look to push aside such distractions and end the country’s 43-year Asian Cup title drought at next month’s tournament.

Iran last lifted Asian football’s most coveted trophy on home soil in 1976, when they completed the third leg of three consecutive championship wins that mark the country out as one of continent’s most successful ever.

But for all their achievements since defeating Kuwait to complete the hat-trick — a resume that includes five World Cup appearances and three Asian Games gold medals — the title the nation covets the most has continued to prove elusive.

Iran head to the United Arab Emirates as one of favourites, even though Queiroz has been denied the services of Reading’s Saeid Ezatolahi, an influential presence at the heart of the team, due to injury.

The absence of the 22-year-old is the latest in a string of issues to hamper the team’s preparations, with Queiroz’s own future proving a major distraction since the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

After Iran narrowly missed out on advancing from the group stage for a first time, Queiroz’s demands for a new four-year contract were ignored by Iranian football authorities and doubts will remain over his future until the Asian Cup finishes.

Star striker Sardar Azmoun, meanwhile, shocked many when he announced his international retirement in response to abuse the 24-year-old received in the aftermath of a lacklustre World Cup campaign for the Rubin Kazan forward.

Further issues arose in early December with the Iranians at risk of an international ban from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) over government interference in the domestic federation’s affairs.

The team has suffered funding issues, too, while the United States government’s decision to impose sanctions on Tehran has made it difficult for Portugal’s Queiroz to properly prepare his squad for the tournament.

But, as a long-running row between Queiroz and former national coach Branko Ivankovic, now in charge of Iran’s most popular club Persepolis, simmers in the background, one of the most talented squads in Asia will head to the finals in January.

Azmoun has since been convinced to backtrack on his retirement decision and he leads a line-up containing 18 of the 23 players who went to Russia, where Iran defeated Morocco in their opening game to secure a second-ever World Cup victory.

A draw against Portugal in their third game could not prevent them from exiting the competition, but the four points gained were the largest haul in the country’s World Cup history.

Queiroz, whose team take on Iraq, Vietnam and Yemen in the group phase, will be looking to create history for Iran once more and nothing short of victory in the final in Abu Dhabi on Feb. 1 will be deemed a success.

Saeid Ezzatollahi is out of Asian Cup 2019

Saeid Ezzatollahi  the Iranian national team midfielder who  has recently joined Team Melli squad in Doha, has been declared unfit and will lose the chance to take part in the 17th AFC Asian Cup 2019.

The disappointing news on Ezzatollahi who was injured and recently recovered, was released after the medical team examined the English championship side, Reading the defensive midfielder for fitness and recovery. In consultation with the coaches, it was decided that Ezzatollahi was not at the optimum shape and condition for the grueling tournament. Ezzatollahi  has not featured for his team , Reading for the last three weeks but it was hoped that he will be fully recovered by the time the championship starts in Abu Dhabi. Queiroz personally relayed the bad news to the midfielder.

The news is a big blow for the team and the supporters.

Team Melli head Coach will be announcing the final squad list  for the Asian Cup 2019 on Wednesday, and he has already mentioned that he needs fully fit and ready players against the tough opponents in the Asian Cup. Queiroz has emphasized, that the list of omitted players will be privately discussed with the individuals and will be conducted in a civilized and respectful atmosphere before being publicized.

Team Melli is scheduled to meet Qatar on December 10 at Khalifa Stadium at 20:00. The seventeenth Asian Cup will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates on January 5th, and the Iranian team is set to end 43 years of misery at these Championship. Yemen, Vietnam, and Iraq, are Iran opponents in the group stage of the competition

Team Melli Final Training Schedule for AFC Asian Cup announced.

Iran’s football federation announced the schedule for the final Team Melli training camp up to the AFC Asian Cup 2019  in UAE.

the federation’s official website mentioned that after the approval of the President of the FFIRI, the training plan will be held in Qatar and will last until the AFC Asian Cup.

The squad will utilize Camp Aspire facilities that was provided by the Qatari Football Federation. Most training session will be held in Camp Aspire while official matches will be held at designated stadiums. The camp will start on  December 17th  and conclude on January 2nd  2019. The squad will fly to Abu Dhabi on January 2nd, ahead of its first game on December 7th against Yemen  in Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

During the training Camp in Doha, Team Melli will play 2 friendly matches and possibly a third against Lebanon which is yet to be confirmed.

The first match will be against Palestine on the 24th December, and a week later , Team Melli will face Qatar..

Meanwhile, the final roster for the Asian Cup will be announced on December 26th.