Friendly with Uruguay can reunite Iran football players

TEHRAN – The friendly match with Uruguay slated for Sept. 23 in Austria, can be the first and most important step forward in reuniting the Iranian football players ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

A month ago, the Iran national football team the squad was split between those who support Dragan Skocic and players who want him out.

Shortly after, the football federation, headed by newly-elected president Mehdi Taj, decided to bring back Carlos Queiroz to Team Melli.

While Skocic successfully guided the Iranians to the 2022 World Cup qualification with an impressive 25-point haul from 10 matches, his two-and-a-half year reign was constantly blighted by reported conflict with key players.

Most notably, Porto striker Mehdi Taremi was dropped from the squad for two qualifiers back in November against Lebanon and Syria, although both parties were said to have buried the hatchet since.

Karim Ansarifard and Ehsan Hajisafi joined Taremi in protest against Skocic, while Sardar Azmoun, Alireza Beiranvand and Vahid Amiri stood with the Croatian coach.

Now, the friendly match against Uruguay is a good opportunity for the national team to reunite once again.

Iran, under guidance of Queiroz, competed at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups but failed to book a place in the next stage. Now, Queiroz has said they will be fully prepared for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Team Melli will also play Senegal on Sept. 27 and these matches with help the Portuguese coach to know his lineup.  


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