‘Why don’t you ask Southgate?’: Irate Iran boss Carlos Queiroz confronts journalist after she had quizzed striker Mehdi Taremi on the protests back in his homeland… with the former Manchester United assistant referencing UK’s role in Afghanistan
- Carlos Queiroz has confronted a BBC journalist who asked about protests in Iran
- The country has experienced demonstrations after the death of Mahsa Amini
- And Iran boss Queiroz fumed at a BBC Persia reporter who questioned him on it
- He said ‘why don’t you ask Gareth Southgate’ about British policy in Afghanistan
- The 69-year-old was speaking before his side’s clash against Wales on Saturday
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results
Iran manager Carlos Queiroz confronted a BBC journalist who asked about the protests in the country – and demanded to know why she didn’t ask England boss Gareth Southgate about British policy in Afghanistan.
Queiroz was incensed that BBC Persia reporter Shaimaa Khalil asked striker Mehdi Taremi about the protests sparked by the death of young woman Mahsa Amini in the country, at a press conference before the national team’s match against Wales on Saturday.
Former Manchester United No 2 Queiroz approached Khalil after the press conference and said: ‘I’m asking you one thing now. Why don’t you ask questions to other coaches about other cultures? That’s only fair.
‘Why don’t you ask Southgate: ‘What do you think about England and the United States that left Afghanistan and all the women alone?’
A scrum of journalists gathered, as Khalil defended her right to ask these questions, before Queiroz eventually left the room.
The episode demonstrated that the protests are affecting the manager and the team, who refused to sing the national anthem before losing 6-2 to England, in an act of solidarity with the protestors.
Irate Iran boss Carlos Queiroz (above, centre) angrily confronted a BBC journalist on Thursday
Queiroz was frustrated that a BBC Persia reporter asked striker Mehdi Taremi about protests in the country over women’s rights, after the death of young woman Mahsa Amini last week
Iranian fans and players have made their feelings known at the Qatar World Cup tournament
Taremi, who came under criticism after celebrating a goal in a pre-tournament warm-up game against Uruguay, had twice said he would not say more on the protests, when Khalil asked him: ‘Your fans have been here cheering for you.
‘Your fans are back home cheering for you. There are also people on the street. What’s your message for the protestors on the street back in Iran?’
He replied: ‘We are not under any pressure and the fact is we have come here to play football – not only us but all the players who are present here is Qatar. You do your work as a journalist.
‘We have all kinds of journalists here and I think in this space, when it’s a space for sport and football, sports journalists can be present here – so fans can enjoy the football. What is in the sidelines doesn’t disturb this. I can’t change it. Thousands of people like me can’t change it.’
Queiroz had spoken impressively before he lost his cool. When a journalist suggested that it was not fair that western journalists were being allowed to challenge the Iranian regime, he said: It’s not a question of being fair or not.
‘They have the right to ask the questions that they think are the right questions. We have the right to give the right answers. This is not a problem for us.’
Queiroz refused to answer questions about the protests at a press conference last week
Iran lost 6-2 against Gareth Southgate’s England in their World Cup opening clash on Monday
When asked about the escalating protests in the country he manages last week, he replied: ‘I have no thoughts’.
‘How much you pay me to answer that question? How much do you pay me? Talk to your boss and give me your answer,’ he added when asked about working for a country that oppresses women.
His final comment to a UK journalist was picked up by microphones: ‘Think about what happened in your country with immigration.’
Despite that starting shot at Iran’s Al Rayyan base west of Doha, Queiroz has actually been doing a very good job of maintaining a semblance of credibility for the country’s hapless football association — insisting that an interview take place at the team’s base in Vienna last month, where he was far more talkative, despite officials trying to shut it down.