Tehran Times - Iran coach Marc Wilmots has named a 23-man squad for the match against Hong Kong at the 2022 FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
Team Melli will start the campaign with a match against Hong Kong on Sept. 10.
Iran iconic attacking midfielder Saman Ghoddos, who currently plays in French club Amiens, is a big absent after he was suspended for four months by FIFA for failing to honor an agreement to join Huesca.
Iran have been drawn in Group C alongside Iraq, Bahrain, Cambodia and Hong Kong.
The eight group winners and four best runners-up will advance to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals and the final round of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The next best 24 teams from the second round of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining 12 slots in the 24-team AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal), Rashid Mazaheri (Tractor)
Defenders: Ramin Rezaeian (Al-Shahania SC), Majid Hosseini (Trabzonspor), Milad Mohammadi (Gent), Vouria Ghafouri (Esteghlal), Mohammadhossein Kananizadegan (Persepolis), Siavash Yazdani (Esteghlal), Morteza Pouraliganji (Al-Arabi), Mohammad Naderi (Persepolis)
Midfielders: Omid Ebrahimi (Al Ahli, Qatar), Masoud Shojaei (Tractor), Ahmad Nourollahi (Persepolis), Ali Karimi (Esteghlal), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Ehsan Hai Safi (Tractor)
Strikers: Mehdi Taremi (Rio Ave), Sardar Azmoun (Zenit), Karim Ansarifard (Al-Sailiya), Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis), Allahyar Sayyadmanesh (Fenerbahce), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Brighton)