The hunt for the best player on the other team to exchange jerseys will not be a bother for the Iranian national team players this summer in Brazil. The Iranian Football Federation (FFIRI) has banned the post game tradition citing lack of replacement jerseys as the reason.
“We do not give the players for each game a jersey that players must be sparing with the jerseys,” FFIRI President Ali Kafaschian told the Fars news agency.
With Iran taking home a minimum of $8 million just for showing up at the World Cup and let’s not forget they have some natural resources worth a couple of pennies, maybe there are other reasons the FFIRI don’t want these jerseys to slip out of their players hands.
The Uhlsport jersey which retails for $89.99 apparently is not of the highest quality. Team Melli goalkeeper Ali-Resa Haghighi said his team issue size XL shrank down to a Medium after 1 wash cycle. Apparently, Haghighi did not read the washing instructions on the jerseys tag. In a parent moment Kafaschian commented, ‘The players must not wash with hot water.
Iran qualified for their 4th World Cup and their first since 2006, as the winner of Group A in AFC qualification. They defeated South Korea 1-0 in the critical last match of the qualification to secure their berth in Brazil.
The side is coached by former NY/NJ MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls) coach Carlos Queiroz. The well-traveled coach will be taking his 3rd team to a World Cup. He was at the helm when South Africa made it to the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea and was coach of Portugal in 2010.
The biggest winner in all this may be Lionel Messi. Iran face Argentina on June 21 at Estadio Mineirao and it will probably be the first time the forward has left the field with his own jersey. Kafaschian may want to reconsider…he could probably sell Messi’s game-worn World Cup jersey on eBay for enough to buy the entire Iranian team a new jersey.
Get in the Gear. The World Soccer Shop has the best selection of official World Cup jerseys but buy accordingly the Iran jerseys may shrink.