DOHA - Iran coach Carlos Queiroz lambasted German soccer icon Jürgen Klinsmann for criticizing his team's World Cup conduct, calling his remarks a "disgrace to football" and urging him to quit his FIFA post, as Iran's soccer federation demanded an apology.
In comments as an analyst with broadcaster BBC, 1990 World Cup winner Klinsmann accused Iran of systematic gamesmanship during their stunning 2-0 stoppage-time win over Wales on Friday and said Queiroz's record with other national teams made him the right match for Iran.
"That's their culture and that's their way of doing it and that's why Carlos Queiroz, he fits really well in the Iranian national team," said Klinsmann, a former United States coach. "This is not by coincidence, this is all purposely. This is just part of their culture, that's how they play it and they work the referee ... constantly in their ears, they're constantly in your face on the field."
"This is their culture and they kind of make you lose your focus and make you lose your concentration and what's really important to you," he added.
This is unbelievable…Watch @J_Klinsmann dismiss brown athletes, from Iran to Guatemala, repeatedly saying “this is their culture”, while the host and other guests are sitting there listening to him go on and on, live on @BBCSport.pic.twitter.com/RgOR3b1sr0
— Negar Mortazavi نگار مرتضوی (@NegarMortazavi) November 26, 2022
Iran play the United States in a decisive Group B match on Tuesday and have a chance to reach the last 16 for the first time.
Queiroz, 69, who has been a coach with Real Madrid, Portugal and Manchester United and is in his second stint as Iran boss, said no one could hurt the integrity of his team.
"You question my character with a typical prejudiced judgment of superiority," he said in a message to Klinsmann on social media, in remarks shared on by the Iran team. "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."
Iran's football federation on Sunday said it had sought clarity from FIFA and demanded Klinsmann apologize and resign from his role with the FIFA Technical Study Group.
It also invited Klinsmann to visit the Iran team's World Cup camp "for a lecture on the millennial Persian culture and the values of football and sport."
"As a former player, he will not be judged by his famous dramatic dives. And for sure, as a football professional, he will not be judged for any other political or historical matters related to his country," it said in a message to reporters.
The federation said Klinsmann should again watch Iran's match with Wales, which many people recognized as "one of the most fair and beautiful matches."
Queiroz said Klinsmann should socialize with his team and learn how much his players love and respect football.
"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," Queiroz said. "Obviously, we expect you to resign before you visit our camp."
(Reporting by Martin Petty; Editing by William Mallard and Ed Osmond)