By Farrokh Hesabi

Expert Mozafari supports referees in FFIRI’s elections

February 26, 2021 - 18:21

TEHRAN - In less than 48 hours, Iranian football federation will see its new president in the elections which will be held on Sunday, Fab. 28. Former Iranian referee Navid Mozafari says that the referees also deserve to be in the new federation’s board of directors.

Ali Karimi, Mostafa Ajorloo, Shahabeddin Azizi Khadem, and Kiumars Hashemi are the final four candidates who will compete for the presidential seat.

But apart from the presidency of the federation, the competing for membership in the board of directors of the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) is also fierce.

Based on the new FFIRI statutes, the number of board members has increased from 9 to 11. In the list of the FFIRI’s board candidates, the eye-catching point is the presence of 13 ex-referees.

Mozafari, the AFC Regional Referee Instructor, believes that some of the referee candidates have no chance to be elected as the board of directors’ member.

“It was shocking to me that a lot of former referees have registered for the elections. I have no idea why some of them have participated in the elections because they clearly have no chance to win. However, about some others, I believe that they deserve to be in the new federation’s board of directors because of what they have done during their careers both as a referee and as a director,” Mozafari said in an exclusive interview with Tehran Times.

“According to the amended FFIRI’s statutes, the head of football federation’s Referee Committee must be a member of the board of directors. So, it is an important election for the Iranian refereeing community as well. The next Referee Committee has a challenging job in the upcoming years, so I hope the elected person will be experienced enough and well-prepared to handle the problems of Iran football refereeing,” he added.

Mozafari took his official referee’s degree in Germany in 1989 and was nominated to the international Referee list by the FFIRI.

“The new statutes have paved the way for the election to be close to FIFA’s standards. The number of voters has increased to 89 however it could be much more, for example, the number of voters in Germany is 200, and we could emulate the world’s top football associations such as Germany but we didn’t. But despite that, the FFIRI’s elections would be a turning point for Iranian football if the best ones are elected. The country’s football must progress towards meritocracy and now is the best opportunity for our football to make it happen,” the refereeing expert concluded.

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