By Farrokh Hesabi

Iranian coaches, players must learn to respect AFC rules

June 2, 2021 - 19:39

TEHRAN - Iranian football clubs Esteghlal and Persepolis have been ordered to pay fines totaling $45,000 over the violations of their staff and players during the 2021 AFC Champions League (ACL) group stage.

Esteghlal head coach Farhad Majidi is ordered to pay $10,000 for his refusal to participate at the pre-match press conference against Al Duhail. The Blues’ captain, Vouria Ghafour, was also fined for his statements after the game against Al Shorta.

The AFC’s Disciplinary and Ethics Committee (AFCDEC) has mentioned that Ghafouri’s statements have brought the game into disrepute. In addition, the Esteghlal club have been fined for the violations made by their head coach and player.

The AFCDEC also ordered Persepolis club to pay $17,500 because of the statements published by the club on their social media channel and website ahead of Goa match. Persepolis also must play a match without spectators at the next match in an AFC Champions League hosted by the Iranian team in the home soil.

The Reds’ winger, Mehdi Torabi, has been also fined for arriving late and causing a delay to the commencement of a pre-match press conference by 15 minutes.

The Iranian teams are also warned that if there are further similar breaches in the future will be met with more severe punishments.

The critical point about these violations made by Iranian clubs, players, and coaches is that they are the consequence of the Iranian football federation’s Disciplinary Committee approach on domestic issues.

In fact, such breaches result from the fact that Iran’s DC does not impose the necessary strictures and punishments on similar cases in the country’s football competitions.

The coaches and players don’t participate in the press conferences before and after the matches and it has become a common trend. The disciplinary committee has never put strict measures to deal with such violations.

This is disrespectful to media, fans, and even the organizing body that the head coaches ignore press conferences. Still, such a violation is repeated again and again without any consequences for the violators.

On the other hand, issuing harsh and disrespectful statements on the Iranian clubs' social media channels and websites, in which they even accuse other teams, referees, the federation, and even the sports ministry of different issues, has become commonplace in Iranian football.

It is time for the football federation’s disciplinary committee to review its methods of dealing with the violators and follow and emulate the rules of the AFCDEC in similar issues.

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