Iran will be looking to play at least six friendly matches before November’s World Cup in Qatar, said Hamid Estili, the director of the country’s national football team.
However, former international midfielder said no matches have been confirmed yet.
“Iran will be eyeing an impressive campaign in Qatar, and friendly fixtures will play a role to that end,” Estili told IRNA on Saturday.
“[Head coach] Dragan Skocic and the federation officials started negotiating with their counterparts in the other teams at the World Cup right after finals draw ceremony [in March], but no matches have been confirmed yet,” added Estili.
With the majority of the European teams tied to the UEFA Nations League fixtures during May and June’s two-week international break, Estili said options will be limited for Iran in terms of finding proper opponents, adding: “We still hope we can play three or four games during the period.”
“We will also be planning two games during September’s seven-day international break – the last one before the World Cup,” added the Iranian.
Iran will open its eagerly-awaited World Cup campaign on November 21 against England in Group B of the competition, which also features USA and one of Wales, Scotland, or Ukraine.
Skocic’s men Iran will have to wait until June to learn which European opponent they will face on November 25 as the winner of the match between Scotland and Ukraine will play Wales in Cardiff for the last slot in the group.
The final round of fixtures in the group will see Iran take on USA in a repeat of the clash between the two at the 1998 World Cup in France, which Iran won 2-1, courtesy of Estili’s sublime header and Mehdi Mahdavikia’s late strike.