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Unfair US sanctions affecting Iran’s football: Sports Minister

Soltanifar

MNA – Iran's Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Masoud Soltanifar condemned the US sanctions against Iran which have led to FIFA’s failure to pay Iran its revenues.

“Unfortunately, due to unfair sanctions, FIFA cannot pay Iran’s revenues without the permission of the US Department of the Treasury and the Iranian federation was forced to borrow money from a domestic company to pay the salary of the [former] Team Melli head coach [Marc Wilmots],” said Soltanifar on Sunday in a meeting with Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani at the opening ceremony of a sports exhibition in Tehran.

He said that the Iranian football federation had always paid salaries of coaches via its revenues at FIFA but after imposition of US sanctions, this path has been blocked.

The root of problems with payments to foreign coaches including Marc Wilmots and Andrea Stramaccioni is unfair US sanction ‘which have targeted football and the youth’, he said.

It’s been some two weeks that Esteghlal coach Andrea Stramaccioni has left Tehran because of the inability of the club to transfer money to his account. Although, reports indicate that the problem has been solved and he may soon travel back to Tehran.

The same payment problem was seen in the case of Marc Wilmots who eventually stepped down as Team Melli’s coach. According to the football federation, the coaching team’s salary has been cleared for one year. The federation and the Belgian coach’s lawyers are still negotiating on termination of the contract.

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