Iran coach: Klinsmann should resign

German footballer and coach Jurgen Klinsmann

Iran has hit out at former German footballer and coach Jurgen Klinsmann, demanding his resignation from the FIFA Technical Study Group for his comments after Iran’s 2-0 win against Wales on Friday.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Iran’s football federation accused Klinsmann of making judgments about Iranian “culture” while referring to his “dramatic dives” as a player and “shameful” episode in the 1982 World Cup.

After the thrilling finish in the Iran-Wales match on Friday, Klinsmann appeared on BBC and made controversial remarks about Iran that immediately sparked a furor.

“Yes, that’s their culture,” he said, in response to presenter Gabby Logan’s comments on Iran’s “gamesmanship”. “Their way of doing it, and that is why Carlos Queiroz fits really well [with] the Iranian national team.”

His comment that Iranian players “worked the referee” suggested that it was in Iran’s culture to engage in unsportsmanlike conduct and obstruct on-field referees.

He also derided Iran’s Portuguese manager Carlos Queiroz, saying he struggled with South America and Egypt before going back to Iran for a second stint.

Iran’s football federation said it was inviting the former German and Inter Milan striker to visit Team Melli’s training camp in Doha, ahead of the team’s match against the US on Tuesday, pledging that he “will not be judged for the most shameful part of World Cup history – the Disgrace of Gijon ’82” as well as for his famous “dramatic dives”.

“At this visit, it will be suggested to Mr. Klinsmann to review the 99 minutes of the Iran-Wales, even if the match was broadcasted worldwide already, and recognized as one of the most fair and beautiful matches of the World Cup history.”

Klinsmann’s comments have drawn anger and outrage in Iran, with football fans taking to social media to call him out.

The statement by Iran’s football federation followed a series of tweets by Queiroz, in which he demanded Klinsmann’s resignation and apology while inviting him to the team’s training camp in Doha.

“Even not knowing me personally, you question my character with a typical prejudiced judgment of superiority,” he wrote in the tweets.

“No matter how much I can respect what you did inside the pitch, those remarks about Iran culture, Iran national team, and my players are a disgrace to football.”

Iranian players have been under tremendous pressure at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar amid sweeping protests and unrest back home.

The team lost the first match against England last Monday as players refused to sing the national anthem. On Friday, it won the second match against Wales 2-0.

Klinsmann responds to Queiroz’s comments

The former German footballer said his comments about the Iran national team were “taken out of context.”

“There was stuff really taken out of context. I will try to give him a call and calm things down,” he told BBC.

Klinsmann went on to say that he never criticized Carlos or the Iranian national team bench.

“Some even thought I was criticizing the referee because he didn’t do anything about the way they were behaving on the bench.”

In his playing career, Klinsmann made appearances for several European powerhouses, including Inter Milan, Tottenham Hotspur, and Bayern Munich.

Klinsmann was also part of the German national team that won the 1990 FIFA World Cup and the 1996 UEFA European Championship.

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