“We will pay for Queiroz or Zidane if you want” Iran’s Sports Minister claims!

In a press conference held earlier on, the Minister of Youth and Sports of the Iranian government reiterated his support for any action by the Leaders of the FFIRI.

When asked about his opinion on the current ambiguity and turbulent status of the Head Coach of Team Melli on the brink of competing in the FIFA World Cup 2022, Hamid Sajjadi has this to say:

“I told Majdi that if you hire Queiroz, we will pay for it. Emphasizing that we hope that any decision made about the national team’s bench will be wise, technical, and proper,

Sajjadi continued: “I told Majdi that anyone, including domestic coaches that you think of recruiting as the head coach of Team Melli will be welcomed, I even said that if you want to bring Queiroz back, we will pay the bills and wages, and I said that if you want to bring Zidane, do the necessary formalities and you will not have to worry about the financial issues related to the head coach of the Iranian national football team.”

Sajjadi in response to the question of what is the position of the Ministry of Sports regarding the presence of Queiroz on the bench of the national team? He stated: “We will not interfere in the technical issues of any federation (…), including the football federation, and we also announced to the former head of the football federation that we will support whatever decision you make, The federation is responsible to make a decision in this regard and we simply stand by the decision it makes. I must say that no consultation has been made with the Ministry of Sports and Youth about the names of the future coach.”

In response to another question about the fact that the member of the parliament has recently announced that we will impeach the minister of sports, Sajjadi said: “A question was raised by one of the members of the parliament about the expulsion of both Esteghlal and Persepolis from the AFC Champions League, and I will answer in this regard. We announce to all that the suspension of Esteghlal and Persepolis will remain until December. Regarding the latest status of the two most popular teams in the country, continued absence from the AFC Champions League due to their status as non-NGO clubs, he said: “the decision-makers in the Asian Football Federation remain the same and that is the continued suspension, but it will be removed by December. We must prepare our documents. Fortunately, good issues are raised and we hope Esteghlal and Persepolis prove their professional status to the Asian Football Confederation.”

Once again the Minister confirmed the chaotic status of Iranian football where the government acts like the big brother. By electing Mehdi Taj a career government civil servant, the regime once again strengthens its grip on the policies of the FFIRI. The government that payrolls the football federation always claims that it does not interfere but the reality is completely different. Nothing of significance passes in the FFIRI without the nod from the Ministry of Youth and sports, which bankrolls this federation. The fact that Esteghlal and Perspolis are suspended is due to the structure of the club which does not meet the professional standards set by the AFC and FIFA. Esteghlal and Perspolis are the properties of the Iranian government since the revolution. There is no independent setup like other professional clubs in which the board members of both clubs and chairman are hand-picked by the Ministry rather than a general assembly.

As for the Team Melli bench situation, Sajjadi’s statement lacks authenticity and real truth. His maneuvering skills by playing innocence are all channeled towards the prevention of FIFA as the result of Government intervention. His public statements aim to disguise the iron grip control of the government on football at all levels from clubs to the federation. Control of football affairs is a regime Policy and a national security issue that considers this sport, in particular, a strong tool that can turn the masses against it.