Iran’s World Cup hopes could become entwined with issues overwhelming the country, with growing voices against Iran’s participation around the world.
But their route to the competition in Qatar, controversial for the reasons outlined in this article, wasn’t so easy.
They participated in the Asian Football Confederation’s qualifying process, where they topped Group C in the second round (the qualifying stage), winning all eight matches. They won at home against Cambodia where he scored an astounding 14 goals and at home he beat the same opponents 10-0.
Karim Ansarifard and Sardar Azmon scored seven goals in the group stage.
They then qualified for the World Cup by topping Group A in the third round. 8 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. Iran also finished ahead of South Korea.
Iran’s newest national team
Goalkeeper: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal), Mohammad Reza Akhbari (tractor), Payam Niazmand (Sepahan).
Defender: Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis), Ramin Rezaeian (Sepahan), Hossein Kanaanizadegan (Al-Ahli), Shojae Khalilzadeh (Al-Ahli), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal), Omid Noorafkan (Sepahan), Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal), Saleh Hardani (Esteghlal) ) ), Armin Sorbian (Gol Gahar), Saman Farrar (Peikan).
Midfielder: Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Omid Ebrahimi (Al Wakrah), Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis), Milad Sarlak (Persepolis), Mehdi Medipour (Esteghlal), Mohammad Kodabanderou (Gol Gohal).
forward: Mohammad Mohebi (Esteghlal).
Iran’s recent convocation
Goalkeeper: Amir Abezadeh (Ponferradina).
Defender: Ethan Hajisafi (AEK Athens), Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athens), Sadeg Moharami (Dinamo Zagreb) and Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor).
Midfielder: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord), Saeid Ezatolahi (Vejle), Saman Ghoddos (Brentford), Ahmad Nourollahi (Shabab Al-Ahli), Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi).
forward: Karim Ansarifard (Omonia), Sardar Azmon (Bayer Leverkusen), Medi Taremi (Porto)
Important dates for World Cup teams
Friday 21st October: Preliminary team list (35-55 players) to be submitted
Monday November 14th: Final list of players 23-26 to be submitted
Tuesday 15th November: FIFA officially announces all 32 teams
World Cup interim squad explained
(Photo: Amin M. Jamali/Getty Images)