News ID: 320951
Published: 0859 GMT April 12, 2022

Iran dismisses Queiroz return for World Cup

Iran dismisses Queiroz return for World Cup

Sports Desk

The Football Federation of Iran rejected rumors suggesting Carlos Queiroz might make a return to the national team bench to replace Croatian Dragan Skocic ahead of Novembers World Cup in Qatar.

The 69-year-old Portuguese on Monday parted ways with Egypt after a shootout defeat against Senegal in March saw the African team fail to secure a place in the showdown in Qatar.

Qatari sports website Kooora first reported on Monday that offers from Iran, Australia, Iraq, and Tunisia tempted” the former Real Madrid manager to end his six-month reign in Egypt.

However, Hassan Kamranifar, secretary-general of the Iranian federation, was quick to rule out the report.

Weve had no negotiations with Mr. Queiroz and we have no intention to do so in the future,” Mehr News Agency quoted Kamranifar as saying.

A full support for the national team is the top priority for the federation at the moment. Iran needs proper preparation and friendly games with big teams [before the Word Cup] and thats what were working towards,” added the top official at the federation.

During his eight-year spell in Iran, Queiroz led the country to successive World Cup finals in 2014 and 2018 before stepping down from his role after a last-four defeat against Japan at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

His team came within inches of a historic last-16 place at the World Cup in Russia four years ago, finishing third in the group with four points – one adrift of the top two Spain and Portugal.

Iran will kick off its campaign in Qatar against European powerhouse England on November 21 in Group B – also featuring USA and one of Wales, Scotland, and Ukraine, which will battle it out for the final slot in the group in June.

Skocic has enjoyed an impressive stint with Iran as his team won eight in 10 outings to top the qualification group and ease into the finals with three games to spare.

However, there has been an ongoing debate among Iranian fans and pundits on whether the Croatian, who took over from Belgian Marc Wilmots in February 2020, is the right man to steer Iran at an occasion of World Cup finals caliber.

His supporters say he has earned the right to be in charge of Iran, which was on the verge of an early qualification exit under ex-Belgian manager, at the World Cup, while arguing that with less than eight months before the World Cup, the federation will be facing a daunting task in replacing him with a bigger name.

Skocics critics, meanwhile, have been questioning his tactical acumen, giving the credit to overseas players – namely Mehdi Taremi of Porto, Bayer Leverkusens Sardar Azmoun, and Feyenoord midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who all made their international debuts under Queiroz – for Irans success over the past two years.


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