Tehran: Iran’s outgoing coach Carlos Queiroz was stopped from flying out of the country on Saturday over tax matters, media reports said, forcing his players to leave Tehran for Europe without him.
Carlos Queiroz. Pic/Getty Images
The 62-year-old Portuguese resigned his post on Friday, citing external “pressures” just six months after extending his contract until 2018. He is due to finish his tenure at the end of March after friendlies against Sweden and Chile.
But as he and the team were heading out of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport to prepare for those matches Queiroz was prevented from boarding the plane.
“Mr Queiroz was told he is subject to a prohibition on leaving the country for non-payment of taxes. The players left without him,” the official IRNA news agency said.
The incident was the latest run-in that Queiroz has had in Iran. The ISNA news agency reported that the former
Real Madrid coach and Manchester United assistant was “very angry” when told he could not travel.
According to ISNA, Queiroz’s contract stipulates that the Iranian Football Federation must pay his taxes. Other reports said that Ali Kafashian, the federation president, was heading to the capital to try to resolve the problem. Queiroz’s future as Iran boss had been in doubt since before last summer’s World Cup where his side had a chaotic buildup to the finals. Training camps were cancelled and Queiroz also complained that there was not enough money to kit out his players with strips and other gear, leading to rows with officials that played out in the media.
Despite winning respect at the finals in Brazil for shaping a plucky team out of a modestly talented squad, Iran ultimately lost out in the first round. His abrupt resignation Friday appeared to signal he and Iranian officials were at odds again.