‘How much you pay me to answer?’ Carlos Queiroz gives bizarre response when asked why he is leading Iran at the World Cup by referencing England players taking the knee and British immigration issues… but his players can protest against Tehran violence
- Iran coach Carlos Queiroz clashed with a reporter when asked if he felt comfortable leading the side amid political chaos at home
- The Portuguese returned for a second spell as Iran coach back in September
- Death of Mahsa Amini in police custody sparked protests around the world
- Some Iranian players have shown solidarity with the protestors in recent weeks
- Queiroz said his team would be free to protest during the upcoming World Cup
- Iran will face England, Wales and the United States in their group stage games
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results
Carlos Queiroz gave a bizarre response when asked if he felt comfortable coaching Iran at the World Cup – suggesting he would need to be paid to offer his true opinions.
Iran will face England, Wales and the United States in the group stage in Qatar but there have been calls for the team to be booted out of the tournament.
It comes amid political turmoil in Iran following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini after the 22-year-old woman was detained by the country’s morality police for not adhering to strict Islamic dress.
Some Iranian players have spoken in support of the protest movement and covered the national team badge during their national anthem ahead of a friendly game in Austria in September.
The Tehran regime has also been criticised for supplying Russia with drones and weapons which have been used in their war with Ukraine.
FIFA resisted the calls to ban Iran from the competition but it’s clear Portuguese coach Queiroz, who returned for a second spell with their national side two months ago, isn’t keen on answering political questions.
Iran coach Carlos Queiroz clashed with a reporter after being asked if he felt comfortable leading the country at the World Cup amid political turmoil and violence back home
The Portuguese is set to lead Iran at a third World Cup having returned to the post recently
He tried to deflect a question in a press conference to reference England’s players taking the knee ahead of games in a statement against racism and discrimination.
Asked by Rob Harris of Sky News whether the Iranian players will be allowed to protest against the regime, Queiroz replied: ‘Everybody has the right to express themselves.
‘You guys are used to bending your knees in the games. Some people agree, some people don’t agree with that, and Iran is exactly the same.’
Queiroz was then asked if he was comfortable leading the national team of a country that represses the rights of women.
He said: ‘How much you pay me to answer that question? You are a private company, how much you pay me?
Iranian players wore black jackets to cover their national emblem before kick-off ahead of a friendly match against Senegal in Austria in September
The match was played behind closed doors to deter protestors following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody, which sparked an uprising against the regime
‘Talk with your boss and at the end of the World Cup I can give you the answer if you make me a good offer.
‘I am saying in answer to that question, don’t put words in my mouth that I did not say. I’m asking to your company how much you pay for me to answer that question?’
Getting up to leave the press conference and take training, Queiroz sought to turn attention to issues in Britain.
‘Think about what happened in your country with immigration,’ he said before leaving the room.
Former Manchester United assistant manager Queiroz also led Iran at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups during his first spell as their coach.
Queiroz referenced England players taking the knee as an anti-racism symbol before games
Iran play England in their first Group B fixture on Monday, before going on to face Wales on November 25 and the United States – a country they’ve had no diplomatic ties with for over four decades – on November 29.
Iran’s players covered their national kit and emblem during the anthems when they played Senegal in a behind-closed-doors friendly in Austria in September.
Spectators were barred in an attempt by the Iranian FA to deter protests following the death of Amini but demonstrators were present outside the stadium.
Bayer Leverkusen forward Sardar Azmoun wrote on Instagram at the time: ‘At worst I’ll be dismissed from the national team. No problem.
The death of Amini, 22, sparked protests in Iran and solidarity right around the world
‘I’d sacrifice that for one hair on the heads of Iranian women. This story will not be deleted. They can do whatever they want.
‘Shame on you for killing so easily; long live Iranian women.’
His post was later taken down in favour of a less strongly worded version, but the forward later joined his team-mates in blacking out his social media profile pictures as a show of solidarity.
A monitoring group said more than 300 people have been killed and 14,825 arrested as part of a violent crackdown on the protests in Iran.