Tehran Times - A group of Esteghlal supporters gathered in front of the Iranian football federation’s headquarters on Wednesday to voice their concern to the directors of the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) about Esteghlal’s uncertain future and asked the return of Andrea Stramaccioni, the former coach of the Blues.
It was not the first time that the Esteghlal fans express their anger about the issue of not returning the Italian coach to their team.
After Hazfi Cup final, Farhad Majidi resigned from his position because of his disputes with the club directors, and his assistant, Majid Namjoo Motlagh replaced him as interim coach.
Esteghlal managers, in reaction to the fans’ anger, promised to re-sign Stramacchioni who managed Esteghlal in Iran Professional League (IPL)’s first half of last season. The Italian coach became very popular because of the good results he got and also the development of the team under his leadership.
However, the Iran Football League Organization announced that Esteghlal, as well as all other Iranian teams, are not allowed to hire any foreign coach.
Further, Stramacchioni, via his Instagram story, said that he had no negotiation with Esteghlal managers regarding his return to the Tehran based club.
“Today I’m very angry. “Seems” that federation denied permission. I never refused any offer. Because no offer was sent. I feel your love Blue hearts. And I want to let you know that is totally reciprocated… Forever. Today I’m very sad,” he wrote in the social media.
Stramaccioni has become a symbol for Esteghlal fans to protest the club's management and Iran football federation as well. All of these frustrations are exacerbated as the fans feel the club directors were lying from the first day about the negotiation with the Italian coach.
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