By Farrokh Hesabi

Iranian football clubs are hurt by mismanagement

January 8, 2022 - 13:2

TEHRAN - Top Iranian teams Esteghlal, Persepolis, and Gol Gohar, have been barred from the 2022 Asian Champions League for failing to meet entry requirements. An absolute disgrace for Iranian football, which once again proved the weakness in management in the country's favored sport.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC ) has announced that Persepolis, the 2020 ACL finalists, Esteghlal, one of the most decorated Asian clubs, and Gol Gohar Sirjan are ineligible to play in the current edition of the champions league.

Licensing regulations that clubs failed to meet relate to issues including timely submission of documents about stadium safety, having fully qualified staff, and details of who are the owners of clubs.

The significant issues of Esteghlal and Persepolis were the issue of joint ownership and club debts, including tax debt.

As the current owner of both clubs, Iran's Ministry of Sport and Youth, tried to resolve the issue of joint ownership by assigning its right as an owner to another Iranian government body.

However, it was too late to resolve the problems that had piled up for years without a practical solution.

It's a disgrace for the Iranian football federation's club licensing committee and the clubs' managers.

For many years, AFC had repeatedly challenged the major issues regarding the club licensing of Iranian giants, Esteghlal and Persepolis. But none of the high-ranking Iranian football officials heeded these warnings.

Iranian media have cited other problems for the three clubs' exclusion from the prestigious tournament of Asian football, including sending some documents without translation, incorrect upload of some documents, etc.

It's a devastating day for Iranian football, since the mismanagement caused that the tens of millions of Iranian football fans miss the chance to see their favorite teams in the 2022 ACL.

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