Iran coach Carlos Queiroz hits back at Jurgen Klinsmann over 'working the referee' claims

German legend criticised for repeated comments about players' 'culture'

Iran's head coach Carlos Queiroz at the match against Wales on Friday. AP
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Iran's national football coach has criticised Jurgen Klinsmann after the German football great claimed the team has a 'culture' of working the referee to gain an advantage.

Carlos Queiroz described Klinsmann's remarks as a pundit on BBC Sport as “outrageous” and that he should not be serving as an official with Fifa's technical study group.

In a televised studio discussion with BBC host Gabby Logan, former USA boss Klinsmann, 56, said that Iran players will crowd the referee and hotly dispute decisions in an intimating manner.

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Those remarks about Iran culture, Iran national team and my players are a disgrace to football
Carlos Queiroz, Iran team coach

“Carlos fits really well with the national team and their culture, he failed in South America with Colombia and then failed to qualify with Egypt, and he came in right before the World Cup with Iran, where he worked for a long time,” Klinsmann said.

Klinsmann said that in six years of coaching the US national team, he saw similar behaviour in Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica.

He further suggested that Guatemalan referee Mario Escobar was used to being challenged by players — and suggested that a European referee would have acted differently.

“This is their culture,” he repeated four times, referring to the Iran team and latterly to South American football.

“They're constantly in your face on the field,” he said.

Klinsmann was not challenged by Logan or his fellow pundits.

In a lengthy rebuke on social media, Carlos Queiroz said Klinsmann, who was part of the West Germany team that won the 1990 Fifa World Cup, should not lecture foreign teams about their “culture”.

“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,” he said.

“Nobody can hurt our integrity if it is not at our level, of course.”

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Queiroz invited Klinsmann to the Team Melli camp to “socialise with Iran players and learn from them about the country, the people of Iran, the poets and art, the algebra, all the millennial Persian culture and also listen from our players how much they love and respect football”.

“And despite your outrageous remarks on BBC trying to undermine our efforts, sacrifices and skills, we promise you that we will not produce any judgments regarding your culture, roots and background and that you will always be welcome to our family,” Queiroz said.

“At the same time, we just want to follow with full attention what will be the decision of Fifa regarding your position as a member of Qatar 2022 Technical Study Group. Because, obviously, we expect you to resign before you visit our camp.'

Iran lost their opening game of the World Cup 6-2 against England but impressed with two lightning late goals in the final minutes of injury time.

They then bounced back with a 2-0 win over a woeful Wales and all eyes will be on their final group stage clash with the USA on Tuesday at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.

Updated: November 27, 2022, 12:15 PM