Iran football league’s chaotic fixture bothers teams

TEHRAN – Just after eight weeks from beginning of 2020/21 Iran Professional League (IPL), there have been many controversies over the schedule of the matches.

The new fixture list announced by the Iran Football League Organization is controversial. It has raised many complaints, especially after some clubs argue that the schedule is in favor of just one team, namely Persepolis.

Bijan Zolfagharnasab, the Iranian football expert, believes that the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) and the Football League Organization are to blame for the current situation.

“The FFIRI have to be more careful about the league matches schedule. In all the football leagues in the world, a fixture list is announced at the beginning of the season. After that, all the teams recognize their opponents from the first week of the league to the end”, the retired Iranian football player and manager said.

“I’m not talking about the best leagues in the world or the top European leagues. It’s something normal even in the weakest European leagues where their football level is lower than us. Everyone knew the calendar of the league, and it is published in newspapers and other media. All clubs can analyze their matches and properly prepare their players for the upcoming games.

“But here in Iran, we are watching the war of statements by the clubs against each other or accuse a team of being supported by the federation. This is the result of a lack of long-term planning. Our football federation and football league organization announce the matches’ schedule just for two or three weeks and cannot make a clear fixture list for the whole season,” he added.  

“Some of the head coaches of the IPL teams are also complaining to take advantage of this situation to justify their probable failures. It has nothing to do with the coaches to talk about the federation or other teams. Each club must have a spokesman to talk about such issues,” ex-Iran coach stated.  

“Of course, most of the teams are rightly concerned. They are paying close attention to their preparations and fear overdoing training. Some of them will have less time for recovery, and some others have more time to rest. The football federation must decide and plan decisively and with complete transparency. It is essential for the federation to stop this public onslaught and not allow the clubs to use their opponents as their media punchbags,’ Zolfagharnasab concluded.

It shows that the federation and league organization are the main organizations who should be blamed.

In no other league we see the chaotic situation as we see in IPL. It’s while Iran football has had a team in the AFC Champions League final twice in three years.


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