By Farrokh Hesabi

2022 World Cup a good opportunity for Iran: expert

January 28, 2022 - 19:1

TEHRAN - Iranian football expert, Amir Haj Rezaei, believes that Iran must seize the opportunity of playing in the 2022 World Cup.

Iran got the better of bitter rivals Iraq in Tehran to become the first Asian confederation side to book their place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.

On Thursday, the ‘Persian Leopards’ defeated Iraq 1-0 in front of 10,000 fans in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.

Mehdi Taremi scored in the 48th minute to lead Iran's national team to a 1-0 victory over Iraq and seal Iran's third straight World cup berth and sixth in total.

“We had an excellent run of the games with Dragan Skocic on the bench. It was a fast and strong qualification that made all of us happy and created a national joy,” said Haj Rezaei in his interview with Tehran Times.

“But the more important point, in my opinion, is that the past five editions that we qualified for the World Cups we didn't make good use of the opportunities offered by the great and prestigious tournament such as World Cup.

“I believe that the World Cup is a global university and exhibition, at the same time. Countries who qualify for this tournament learn a lot of lessons in this university and bring them to their own countries,” the expert said.

“Things like infrastructure, transportation development, technologies regarding the refereeing and stadiums, courses held by great coaches, and many other issues are what matter the most in World Cups. However, we did not see the effects of this presence in our country because those who ran the country's football in the past, put all their managerial shortcomings behind the presence of the national team in the World Cup,” added the former coach of Iran national team.

“The managers of Iranian football considered the World Cup as the ultimate and ideal goal of the Iranian football and did not make any effort to improve the football situation in the country. I hope we do not see such an attitude in this edition of the World Cup. Our sixth appearance in the tournament must be accompanied by great achievements in terms of technology and football science for the Iranian football,” Haj Rezaei concluded.

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