DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The Iranian soccer federation and national team coach Carlos Queiroz have angrily hit back at former Germany great Jürgen Klinsmann for saying that Iran’s World Cup players use dirty tactics because its in their “culture.”
Both the federation and Queiroz on Sunday called for Klinsmann to resign from FIFA’s technical study group, while the Iranian federation said it demands an apology from the former Germany and United States national team coach. The federation asked FIFA for “immediate clarification” on the matter.
Klinsmann, who coached the United States from 2011-16 and led Germany to a third-place finish at the 2006 World Cup, said Friday it’s the Iranian players’ “culture” to play dirty and use tricks to turn the referee in their favor as he was commentating on Iran’s win over Wales for British broadcaster BBC.
Iran plays the United States in a decisive Group B match on Tuesday.
“That’s their way of doing it. And that’s why Carlos Queiroz, he fits really well with the Iranian national team,” said Klinsmann, who also disparaged players from Central America. “I worked for the U.S. for six years. They went to Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica. This fits their culture.”
Queiroz, who is from Portugal, responded on Sunday, when he accused the former Germany forward of having “a typical prejudiced judgment of superiority.”
“Those remarks about Iran Culture, Iran National Team and my Players are a disgrace to Football,” Queiroz wrote on Twitter.
Queiroz invited Klinsmann to visit Iran’s national team camp to see for himself how much the players “love and respect” soccer, but called on the German to resign from FIFA’s group because of his “outrageous remarks” first.