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Iran hit back at Jurgen Klinsmann following ‘culture’ comments

The former USA and Germany boss is in hot water over accusations of racism

Iran boss Carlos Quieroz has demanded the resignation of Jurgen Klinsmann following comments made on the BBC following Iran’s 2-0 win over Wales.

The middle-east side moved to second in Group B courtesy of two stoppage-time goals, meaning that they have a real chance of heading through, only needing to beat the USA on Tuesday to reach the last 16.

But after the game, during a focus piece on potential fouls not given on Welsh players, Klinsmann appeared to suggest that Asian sides had a knack for trying to play the referee during games.

“It is not by coincidence, it is part of their culture, how they play”, he told the BBC panel.

“They worked the referee. They work the linesman and fourth official, they are constantly in their ear. There were a lot of incidents we didn’t see. This is their culture, they take you off your game.”

And the criticism prompted Iran boss Queiroz to take to social media to reply in a long letter, calling on the former USA boss to resign from his job as a member of the FIFA Technical study group, while there have also been calls for him to resign from the BBC.

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

“Even saying so, we would like to invite you as our guest, to come to our National Team Camp, socialize 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.”

As American/German, we understand your no support. No problem. 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.

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.”

Klinsmann has since responded to calls for him to resign, telling the BBC that his comments 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 explained.

“I have never criticised Carlos or the Iranian bench. Some even thought I was criticising the referee because he didn’t do anything about the way they were behaving on the bench.”

“All I described was their emotional way of doing things, which is actually admirable in a certain way. The whole bench lives the game. They’re jumping up and down and Carlos is a very emotional coach, he’s constantly on the sidelines trying to give his players all his energy and direction.”


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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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