Portugal’s Carlos Queiroz, coach of Iran’s national team, criticized his team’s fans, following the team’s severe loss 6-2 against England, on Monday, in its opening match at the FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar.
Queiroz advised: Those who are not willing to support Iran’s national team should stay at home.
The match, which was held as part of the second group competitions of the World Cup group stage, took place in a very charged atmosphere, as the Iranian national team players refused to chant their national anthem in a clear declaration of solidarity with the anti-government protesters in their country.
Boos also rang out during the anthem, while some Iranian fans were seen carrying banners announcing their support for women’s rights.
In the post-match press conference, Queiroz called on the Iranian fans to extend their unconditional support to his players.
Queiroz said: Please, teachers, moralists, let the boys play the game. They just want to play football.
Queiroz added: I hope the England, Wales and USA players will praise them for having the courage to play the match. They are here to bring pride and happiness to the people.
The Portuguese coach explained: You don’t know what the players were going through behind the scenes because they just wanted to play football. Whatever the players say, the critics want to kill them.
And he continued: Everyone realizes that the current conditions of the environment for my team players are not the best environment. They are people, they are boys.
Queiroz stressed: The players have only one dream, to play for the country and for the people. I am so proud of the way they stand up and keep fighting.
Queiroz concluded his remarks by saying: I am very proud of what they have done but of course in 2014 and 2018 we had the full support of the fans. You saw what happened today, fans who are not ready to support the team should stay home.