Carlos Queiroz confronts reporter at World Cup over Iran protests


Disgruntled Carlos Queiroz confronted a BBC reporter after Iran’s latest World Cup press conference was again dominated by questions about the unrest in the country, asking why Gareth Southgate is not facing similar questioning.

There have been widespread protests in Iran after a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, died in police custody in September after being arrested for allegedly wearing a headscarf improperly. Hundreds of people have died as a result of the state’s attempt to quell the protests and thousands more have been arrested.

The situation has prompted calls for Iran to be expelled in the run-up to the World Cup, while the team’s players did not sing the national anthem ahead of Monday’s 6-2 loss to Barcelona. England in solidarity with protesters.

Queiroz and Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi were both asked about the matter again on Thursday at a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Group B meeting with Wales, but once the session was over, a An irritated but calm Queiroz approached the BBC reporter and said: don’t you ask Southgate those kinds of questions?

“I speak with you. I ask for the pleasure of speaking with you. I ask you one thing now that the press conference is over. Do you think it is fair to ask other coaches other questions as well?

“That’s the only question I ask myself. Why don’t you ask the other coaches? Why don’t you ask Southgate, “What do you think of England, the United States and [pulling out of] Afghanistan? »

Queiroz was particularly offended that Taremi was asked to deliver his message to protesters in his country, with the Portuguese coach suggesting it was unfair to ask a footballer political questions.

Porto striker Taremi, who scored twice against England on Monday, was reluctant to discuss political issues and declined to answer, but insisted he and his team-mates were not concerned about the consequences of their own protests at the tournament.

“I don’t want to talk about political issues but I can give you a very short sentence because I respect you: no, we are not under any pressure,” he said.

“The fact is that we came here to play football. You do your job as a journalist, you ask questions… I think this space when it’s a space for sports and football, so football journalists can be there, so that the fans can enjoy football. What’s on the sidelines around that… I can’t change a thing.

Queiroz’s reaction was slightly bizarre, given that he had previously championed freedom of the press, suggesting he had no problem with footballers being asked political questions, as long as they had the right not to answer.

“They have the right, the press has the right to make the issues they understand are the right issues,” he said.

“It’s important that if we respond to what we want, you have to respect that as well. We don’t want to mix up those kinds of issues when you play football.

“It’s not about us, it’s about our president, president [Gianni] Infantino, the ethics of Fifa and the ethics of the game.”

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