The Football Federation of Iran announced that the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has recently banned Iran from hosting international soccer competitions for no clear reason, Press TV reported on Saturday.
Amirmahdi Alavi, a spokesman for the Iranian federation, said that the AFC should avoid "false" notions regarding Iran.
"Iran is fully ready to host various teams as it has repeatedly proven during the past several years," Alavi was quoted as saying.
Iran's Esteghlal Football Club has already issued a statement saying it will refuse to compete in any competition in a third country.
Mahdi Mohammad Nabi, member of the board of directors of the Iran's Persepolis Football Club, also said that the AFC ruling was based on groundless claims.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) signed a 3-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the country’s prominent private university American International University Bangladesh (AIUB) for developing booters’ educational skills.
Under the three years contracts, the AIUB will provide all educational facilities for both the male and female footballers in the senior and age-level teams.
BFF President Kazi Md Salahuddin and one of the founder member of AIUB Dr Hasanul A Hasan signed the MOU on behalf of their respective sides at the BFF house in Motijheel on Saturday.
Besides, former national player Khandakar Wasim Iqbal, BFF executive members Shawkat Ali Khan Janahgir, Illias Hossain, Amit Khan Shuvro, Mahfuza Akhter Kiron and BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag were also present at the signing ceremony.
Kazi Md Salahuddin said, “It is very necessary for a player having educational skills for their mental maturity. We have been looking forward to have the opportunity to provide education to our players. We are highly glad when the AIUB proposed to provide educational facilities to the players.”
Dr Hasanul A Hasan said, “We have also been engaged with different sports organizations, specially, we have been providing the facilities for the last 12 years, six years with the Bangladesh Shooting Sports Federation.”
“Under the program, players can take four years full academic course or special education on English and computer skills to increase their expertise on leadership,” Hasan added.
Hosts Bangladesh will seek a victory when they meet Sri Lanka in their 2nd and last Group A match on Sunday to reach the semifinals of the six-team Bangabandhu International Gold Cup Football Tournament.
The match will kick off at 5pm at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here.
Palestine have already reached the semifinals as the Group A champions with all-win run. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will battle for the remaining semifinal berth from Group A as both the teams lost to Palestine by equal 0-2 goal margin.
Sri Lanka displayed an amazing football in their first group match as they kept Palestine at bay for 90 minutes. All the credit goes to their defenders and goalkeeper Herath who successfully saved the castle till opponent captain Mohamoud Abuwarda and forward Khaled Salem scored one goal each in the stoppage time.
On the other hand, Bangladesh wasted many scoring chances against Palestine in their first match. Despite having better ball possession and attacking percentages, the hosts failed to score any goal in the match. Forwards Khaled Salem and Layth Kharoub netted one goal each for Palestine.
Bangladesh might face another trouble in the must-win match if their captain Jamal Bhuiyan misses the game due to injury. Jamal got hamstring injuries during the first match against Palestine and is not cent percent fit for Sunday’s match.
Bangladesh booters made their practice session at Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club ground on Saturday morning without their captain Jamal.
“We rested Jamal on Saturday. He isn’t cent percent fit, he is still recovering. But we’re optimistic about him, let’s see,” said Team Manager Satyajit Das Rupu.
While asking about Jamal’s availability, Head Coach Jamie Day replied, “We are not sure about him [Jamal]. It depends on him.”
About the match, Jamie Day said, “Preparations are good. Obviously, we’re eyeing a win against Sri Lanka.”
About his present situation, captain Jamal Bhuiyan said, “The probability of my playing is now 75 percent. Still, there’s pain and I’m facing difficulties with the leg movement. I’ll try to run again on Sunday morning. If I don’t feel pain, I’ll play.”
Bangladesh is 187th in the FIFA Rankings while Sri Lanka are 205th.
In their last match, Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by 1-0 goal in the 13th South Asian Games Football at the Dasharath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu.
Bangladesh National Football team: Shahidul Alam Sohel, Ashraful Islam Rana, Anisur Rahman, Topu Barman, Sushanto Tripura, Yeasin Khan, Rahmat Mia, Rayhan Hasan, Riyadul Hasan, Monjurur Rahman Manik, Rabiul Hasan, Saad Uddin, Mamunul Islam Mamun, Jamal Bhuiyan, Sohel Rana, Manik Hossain Mollah, Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, Towhidul Alam Sabuz, Mohammad Ibrahim, Motin Miah, Foysal Ahmed Fahim, Arifur Rahman, Rakib Hossain.
Iran's soccer federation said Friday it has been told it will not be hosting any international matches on Iranian soil.
The federation said it received a letter from the Asian Football Confederation saying that all matches involving Iranian teams will be held in a third country.
The Iranians did not say if any reason was given or if the decision is related to the accidental shoot down of a Ukrainian jetliner last week, which killed all 176 people on board.
The AFC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"Iran is fully ready to host various teams as it has repeatedly proven during the past several years," Amirmahdi Alavi, a spokesman for the Iranian federation, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency.
He pointed to Iran's hosting of the 2018 AFC Champions League final at Azadi Stadium in the capital, Tehran, as an example. He also said the Sports Ministry has provided the required security guarantees to the AFC.
Iran's federation, which has four teams in the AFC Champions League, said it would meet with AFC officials to express its opposition to the decision.
Last season the Iranian teams played Saudi teams in the United Arab Emirates. the Saudi teams did not travel to Iran because the two countries severed diplomatic relations in 2016.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard accidentally shot the Ukrainian flight down on Jan. 8 as it was expecting a counterattack after firing several missiles at U.S. troops in Iraq. The missile attack was retaliation for the killing of Iran's top general in a U.S. airstrike.
Iranian officials initially blamed the crash on a technical problem and only admitted responsibility three days later, after Western leaders said there was mounting evidence the plane was brought down by a surface-to-air missile.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has announced that former Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar will be coming to Dhaka on Wednesday.
He will pay a courtesy visit for the ongoing six-team Bangabandhu International Gold Cup Football Tournament 2020.
Cesar is scheduled to watch the second semifinal of the meet on January 23 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here.
BFF President Kazi Md Salahuddin made the announcement at a press conference at BFF house in Motijheel on Friday.
Forty-year-old Cesar played 87 international matches for Brazil from 2004 to 2014. He was selected for three FIFA World Cups in 2006, 2010, 2014 and two Copa America in 2004 and 2011.
Besides, he was also the member of Italian club Inter Milan, which clinched the UEFA Champions League 2009-10 and the FIFA Club World Cup 2010 titles.
Cesar also won Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year title in both 2009 and 2010 and won the Golden Glove award in the Confederations Cup 2013.