Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz hits back at British journalist over women’s rights question

Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz hits back at British journalist over women’s rights question

Iran manager Carlos Queiroz says his players will be free to protest against the country’s regime during the World Cup — but urged England to focus on its own treatment of immigrants, rather than issues overseas.

England’s first opponents arrive in Qatar against a backdrop of demonstrations at home over women’s rights, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody in September.

The protests are considered the biggest show of dissent towards the country’s rulers since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and Iran’s players have already displayed their support, wearing black jackets to cover the national logo during a friendly against Senegal last month.

“The players are free to protest as they would if they were from any other country as long as it confirms with the World Cup regulations and is in the spirit of the game,” said Queiroz.

“Iran is exactly like [England]. It follows the spirit of the game and the laws of Fifa. That’s how you express yourself in football, according to those principles and values. Everybody had the right to express themselves. You guys bend your knees in the games. Some people agree, some people don’t agree with that, and Iran is exactly the same.”

However, when asked by a British journalist whether he was comfortable representing a regime that suppressed women’s rights, the Portuguese said: “How much you pay me to answer that question? How much you pay me?

“Talk to your boss and at the end of the World Cup I can give you the answer if you make me a good offer.

“Think about what happened in your country with immigration.”