Football legend blasted at World Cup over Iran commentary: 'Disgrace'

German football legend Jurgen Klinsmann (pictured right) during a conference and (pictured left) ran head coach Carlos Queiroz toss by the players.
German football legend Jurgen Klinsmann (pictured right) has been slammed for his BBC commentary during Iran's win over Wales at the FIFA World Cup. (Getty Images)

German football legend Jurgen Klinsmann has been slammed for his BBC commentary after he took a dig at Iran's football culture during their historic victory against Wales at the FIFA World Cup. Iran secured a famous 2-0 victory over Wales in the Group B clash after a strikes from Cheshmi's and Ramin Rezaeian.

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Iran celebrated wildly while some of the Welsh players dropped in disbelief to the field as Wales left themselves needing a win against England to advance. However, Klinsmann - one of seven FIFA members in a technical study group to analyse the World Cup in Qatar - claimed Iran used gamesmanship to help keep their lead during the match.

Speaking on the BBC, Klinsmann claimed Iran's behaviour was designed to help distract their opponents so they 'lose their focus'.

"That's their culture, that's their way of doing it. That's why Carlos Queiroz fits really well with the Iranian national team. He struggled in South America, failed to qualify with Colombia then failed to qualify with Egypt as well. Just before the World Cup he went back and guided Iran where he worked for a long time," he said.

"This is not by coincidence, it is all purposely. It is part of their culture and how they play it, they worked the referee perfectly. The bench was always jumping up and working the linesman and the fourth official on the sideline.

Saeid Ezatolahi (pictured) celebrates after winning.
Saeid Ezatolahi (pictured) celebrates after a famous Iran victory at the FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images) (Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto via Getty Images)

"They're constantly in your ear and your face. This is their culture, they kind of make you lose your focus and concentration, what's really important to you."

However, these comments about Iranian football culture did not sit well with the coach.

Iran manager Carlos Queiroz blasted Klinsmann for the 'disgraceful' comments and called for him to step down.

"Even not knowing me personally, you question my character with a typical prejudiced judgement of superiority," Queiroz wrote. "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, socialise 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 judgements 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."

After the backlash, Klinsmann said he would personally reach out to Queiroz to clarify his comments.

Wales face FIFA World Cup despair

Prior to the match Iran players sang the national anthem after remaining silent against England in an apparent protest against their regime and in support of wide-ranging protests at home. However, a large number of their fans appeared to boo it.

The result means Wales must now defeat England on Tuesday to have any hope of progressing.

"It's gutting, we're gutted, there's no other way to say it," Bale said.

"We fought to the last seconds but it's difficult to take. But we have to pick ourselves up straight away, it's going to be difficult but we have one game left.

with AAP

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