Iran football President Taj warns coach Queiroz to refrain from controversies

January 18, 2019

TEHRAN - Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) President Mehdi Taj has warned Team Melli Coach Carlos Queiroz to only discuss technical issues of the team after the Portuguese coach accused Iran's Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Massoud Soltanifar of ordering the federation not to extend his contract at the end of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Queiroz has said Iran's Ministry of Sport and Youth has put the football federation under pressure to terminate his deal after the 2019 AFC Asian Cup underway in the United Arab Emirates.

“Iran's Ministry of Sport and Youth didn’t want the federation to extend my contract. Had I known about it, I would not have extended the agreement after the 2018 World Cup. I didn’t want to stand against the minister’s order,” Queiroz had told reporters on the sidelines of Team Melli’s training on Thursday.

Queiroz’s interview created concerns ahead of Iran football match against Oman in the Asian Cup Round of 16 against Oman scheduled for Sunday.

“Iran’s football family needs to keep calm and away from tension in the pivotal period. If there is any criticism it should be discussed after the competition. Team Melli’s pride is the aspiration of the Iranian people, Iran’s Ministry of Youth and Sports, and football federation, all of us are doing our best to make it happen,” Taj said.

“All wages, salaries and bonuses of coaching staff have been paid so far and the coaching crew must only talk about technical issues. Experience has shown that these kinds of controversies could jeopardize our success,” he added.

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