Iran’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup have become entangled with the country’s political situation in the wake of the unrest that has rocked the nation for the past almost two months.

The unrest began following the death of Mahsa Amini, who was 22 years old, while she was in the custody of the police.

Tehran is also being accused of providing Russia with drones that have been deployed in the conflict in Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the tragic demonstrations, athletes have chosen not to celebrate victories, awards, or goals, including football players both in the domestic league and in foreign matches.

The nation of Ukraine, along with a number of groups and individuals who are hostile to the Iranian state, have made a request to FIFA to have the Iranian squad kicked out of the World Cup.

In the meantime, the Iranian national football team, known as Team Melli, will encounter challenging competition at the World Cup. The players haven’t given up hope of making history at the tournament, despite the fact that they’ve had a rough few months off the field leading up to it.

Iran will compete in Group B against the likes of England, Wales, and the United States, all of which are ranked higher than they are.

Iran is currently ranked 20th in the FIFA team rankings, which places them ahead of both Japan and South Korea.

Iran’s recently appointed head coach, the Portuguese Carlos Queiroz, stated to Iranian media in October that he believes Iran and Japan are the most likely among Asian nations with the ability to advance past the group stage of the World Cup.

Mehdi Taremi, a forward who presently plays for the Portuguese club Porto and is 30 years old, is the Iranian player who has garnered the most international attention. Another important talent is the attacker Sardar Azmoun, who is currently playing for Bayer Leverkusen in Germany. At the beginning of October, Azmoun was injured while playing for Leverkusen, but the team’s medical staff is positive that he will be able to make a full recovery before Iran’s match in Qatar.

If the Iranian team is successful in advancing past the group stage, they will go down in the annals of sports history as one of the first teams in the world to do so.

Team Melli, which was also coached by Queiroz in 2018, suffered close defeats at the hands of Spain and Portugal.

Iran came out on top of their World Cup qualifying group with 25 points and a goal differential of +11, so things could be looking up for them at this year’s tournament.

After that, the team was led by the Croatian Dragan Skoi, who, despite having been in charge for for around two and a half years, amassed important records during his time with the squad. Because the coronavirus was so widespread during that time, he was sidelined for the better part of it.

Skoi won 15 of his 18 games as the head coach for his team. During that time frame, Iran accomplished their fastest-ever qualifying to the World Cup, scored 40 goals, and only allowed eight goals to be scored against them. Additionally, Iran’s coach secured the longest winning run among all head coaches in the history of Team Melli.

However, problems with a number of players, including the team’s top scorer Taremi, in addition to problems with authorities from the federation led to Skoi’s dismissal from his position with Team Melli at the beginning of July.

Following contentious elections at the football federation, Mehdi Taj, the newly appointed football chief, decided to rehire Queiroz. Taj has been the subject of criticism in the Iranian media about allegations of financial wrongdoing.

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