The transfer of hosting the second qualifying round of the World Cup to Bahrain and the group stage matches of the Asian Champions League to countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and India have led to a wave of criticism from the Football Federation and sports officials. Recently, the new president of the Football Federation also considered this issue to be related to the negligence of the previous managers and withdrew from the margins of this issue.
Despite the criticism, the AFC official letter to the Iranian Football Federation on March 5 indicates that Iran has already made official correspondence and negotiations to host the World Cup qualifiers in Asia, and the AFC reasons for not giving. Hosting Iran has nothing to do with not making the necessary efforts in this regard, and the issue considered by the Asian Confederation for granting hosting goes beyond these professions and goes back to the structures and conditions of hosting Iran.
In a part of the letter of “Dato Wintzor Jan” the Secretary General of the Asian Football Confederation to Mehdi Mohammad Nabi, the then Secretary General of the Football Federation, it is stated:
With reference to the above, we express your interest in hosting the centralized matches in the group stage of the 2021 Asian Champions League and the qualifying matches of the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup of China. And we learned about the Asian Under-23 Cup in 2022 and 224.
However, as you know, the above-mentioned competitions and competitions have a global position that includes different stakeholders from several countries, and with the current international sanctions that have affected the Islamic Republic of Iran, we face significant challenges and limitations in We anticipate the successful holding of relevant matches in Iran for the AFC and our stakeholders.
To this end, we would like to take this opportunity to address some of our concerns about logistical, commercial and financial coordination. “Please note that the following are examples only and are not exhaustive.”
Other sections of the letter address the reasons and challenges of the AFC refusing to grant hosting to Iran:
Restrictions on the carriage of goods, from the AFC Headquarters or from AFC partner trading companies, affiliates, participating teams and designated service providers to or from Iran, due to applicable national law and international sanctions that Affect transactions related to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
– Business Challenges
Restrictions on the ability of the AFC, its Confederate business partners and current affiliates to make full use of their current rights to any competition or competition due to applicable national law and international sanctions on transactions or transfers in which the Islamic Republic of Iran It is involved, it affects.
The inability of the AFC to designate (TV) the host broadcaster or grant media rights directly to a broadcasting partner in the territory of the IAEA. Iran’s inability to grant rights and fulfill any obligations arising out of any relevant agreement with respect to international sanctions affecting Iran-related transactions or transfers.
– Financial challenges
Inability of AFC, AFC Business Partners, current affiliates, participating teams and designated service providers to make any financial transfers, direct or indirect, to any person or entity in or from Iran.
Limitations of AFC monetization activities for current AFC affiliated partners, current affiliates and other service providers.
“Given the above, you will realize that there is a degree of risk to the AFC, and we want to emphasize that resolving these issues is extremely important for the AFC to be able to successfully hold competitions and competitions,” the confederation said. “Investigate and consider the relevant in the territory of Iran.”