February 4 – Iran’s outgoing coach Carlos Queiroz claims the team’s participation at the just-completed Asian Cup was only possible due to the financial aid provided by Qatar
Lack of assistance from the Iran government towards the national football team has long been an issue over the years. But in an interview Queiroz gave for local television in the aftermath of Iran’s Asian Cup semi-final defeat to Japan, which extended their Asian Cup title drought to 43 years, he laid bare the extent of the problem.
“If it was not for the Qatar Football Association, we would have nothing,” said Quiroz who stepped down after eight years in what was his 100th match in charge.
“This camp would not be possible. The preparation and the friendlies - not possible. They paid for everything,”
Queiroz, who during his tenure steered Iran to back to back appearances at the World Cup for the first time ever, continued: “Our last game – they paid for the stadium, pitch and both the teams. Qatar paid for everything because Iran have nothing – Zero!”
“A lot of bad feelings in this moment. I needed to work to keep this team, players and staff together. The reality is it is not easy. We cannot pretend that there is no problem. There are problems for everybody.”
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