Interview by Farrokh Hesabi

Captain Ghanbari sad about Iran’s position in FIFA ranking

December 23, 2020 - 20:7

TEHRAN – Zahra Ghanbari has expressed her sadness after Iran women’s national football team were taken out of the latest FIFA rankings list completely due to not playing an international game within the last 18 months.

The Iranian team were 70th in the previous rankings released by FIFA but now they are out of the list of the international teams.

It was a devastating blow to the Iranian women football and many of the experts as well as coaches and players have expressed their sadness and concerns about this issue.

Zahra Ghanbari, captain of the Iranian national team and one of the best players of the women’s football history, expressed her sadness about the national team’s position at the FIFA ranking.

“It is very unfortunate that such a thing has happened for us, something that we think should be reconsidered by FIFA. We got considerable results over the past years and it is a real blow to the Iranian football”, Ghanbari said in an exclusive interview with Tehran Times.

“The sad reality is that the national team were left alone and no one paid attention to them for the last two years. We had no friendly matches and no training camps for a long time, so we should expect something like this to happen”, Zahra added.

Ghanbari, 28, is the current player of Vochan Kordestan team and the all-time top goal scorer of the Iran Women’s Football Professional League.

She criticized the Iranian football federation’s officials for neglecting the women’s national team.

“We got good results in the past few years and moved up in FIFA’s rankings. However, in all those years we also had a few friendly matches, and our few training camps were formed only near the start of a tournament,” she said.

“We should have a plan. We need to change the way we think about holding a training camp when we have a competition ahead. There should be long term planning for the national team. The football federation arranged some training camps and friendly matches for the men’s national team during the time of the coronavirus pandemic despite the fact that they had no official match ahead,” Ghanbari added.

“During this period, I and other players of the women's national team objected to the condition of our team with the interviews we had and the posts and stories that we published. We have a good and active women’s football league in our country but when it comes to the national team, there is very little activity and planning for the team,” the captain concluded.

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