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SPORTS UPDATE

W/Cup trophy visits Iran for first time in nation’s history

World cup trophy touched down in at Milad Tower in Tehran on Thursday in continuation of its global tour ahead of the global show piece due for kick off in November in Qatar.

Despite Qatar 2022 being Iran’s sixth appearance in the World Cup, this is the first time the World Cup trophy has made its presence in its nation. Former Iranian goalkeeper Ahmad Abedzadeh, who played for Team Melli during France 1998, helped reveal the gold-plated trophy. He was joined alongside by Iran’s newly elected football federation president, Mehdi Taj.

Mehdi Taj is the soccer executive who has returned to his former role. The managing director served as president between 2016 and 2019. Moreover, Mehdi Taj has been a member of the AFC Emergency Committee since May 2020.

The newly elected President has been at the forefront of discussions with Gianni Infantino, the President of FIFA, about resolving the issues ever-present within Iran’s soccer society. The most famous case is women’s rights at soccer matches.

Earlier this year, thousands of female ticket holders in Iran were deterred with tear gas prior to a qualifying match. FIFA has repeated its admonitions to the Iranian government that they must refrain from intervening in the affairs of their soccer federation. With the World Cup in the Middle East looming on the horizon, Mehdi Taj intends to find solutions, avoiding a suspension from soccer’s world governing body.

“We have to work together to solve our problems. Now is the time for hard work. I thank the two other candidates. We must move towards brotherhood and cooperation. The past is the past; we must move forward.”

Iran are in Group B with England, Wales, and the United States of America and open their campaign on November 21 against England, battle Wales November 25 and round up the group stage with USA on November 29.

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