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Carlos Queiroz launches scathing attacks on Iran sports minister

PLDC – Iran national football team coach Carlos Queiroz has launched a scathing attack on Iran’s sports minister Masoud Soltanifar.

Iran booked a place at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Round of 16 as Group D winner after a goalless draw against Iraq on Wednesday at Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, the UAE.

On the sidelines of Team Melli training, the Portuguese coach accused Soltanifar of ordering Iran Football Federation to not extend contract with Team Melli coaching staff.

“In the match against Iraq we created so many chances but the Iraqi players wanted to make us nervous but our players are real fighters and we advanced to the Asian Cup Round of 16 as the group winners,” he said.

Asked him about Colombia’s offer but he said it’s not good time to discuss about it.

“Now, we have won our three matches in the group and scored seven goals. Asian Cup starts for us in the next game. From now on, it’s a game which is everything for the winner and nothing to the loser.

“My players will show their real character from now on. I am ready to die for my players because I have faith in them and I love them. I think my players know about my commitment to them. We will have to play our next match on Sunday and want to concentrate on this match.

“For us, every match is a final in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. We really don’t care who we will play. I have believe in my players and my staff. If you want to win the title you have to ready to play all teams. Some people like red color and some people like blue color but I don’t care of the colors.

Asked him which team he prefers to play, Queiroz said, “This is not our task to prefer which team we play. We have to respect all teams.”

The Iran football coach also praised Uzbek referee Ravshan Irmatov.

“All players, coaches and referees do their best onto the field. The referees sometimes make mistake but I believe that Iraq was favored by Benjamin Williams in the 2015 Asian Cup. Irmatov is a good official and his decisions didn’t go against any team,” Queiroz noted.

“Now I want to make clear about my contract. They wanted to extend my contract for six months. I talked about my feeling with Mr. Taj (President of Iran Football Federation) but he didn’t tell me about everything at that time. He hid the details of his meeting with the minister. Iran sports ministry didn’t want the federation to extend my contract. If I knew about it I would not extend my deal. I didn’t want to do anything against the minister’s order,” he went on to say.

“Taj told me the Iran sports ministry don’t support football federation and I don’t want to damage Team Melli. It’s not logical. I think the ministry has other options for Team Melli. I think after Iran’s leader (Ayatollah Khamenei) congratulated Team Melli for good performance in the 2018 World Cup, the sports ministry stopped supporting us. This is a reality: the minister doesn’t want I remain as Iran coach. They never support the players. Our preparatory programs were damaged. He is responsible for all detachment in Iran football,” he said.


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“There is those people who always want to harm Team Melli. These days the Iranian people are facing economic problems but the ministry helped Persepolis to travel to Japan with first-class flight.

“Anyway, we are determined to keep fighting for the people. I am committed to the national football team but it’s time to go because they don’t want me. But you have to know these issues,” Queiroz concluded.

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