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IRIB, Futsal League Organization Seen as Bane of Women’s Teams

Regarding the chaotic atmosphere in the league games, now Iran’s best in the 2018 AFC Women’s Futsal Championship including best manager Shahrzad Mozaffar, top-scorer Sara Shirbeigi, and MVP Fereshteh Karimi have no teams to play and this certainly harms
Iran was the winner of the 2018 AFC Women’s Futsal Championships.Iran was the winner of the 2018 AFC Women’s Futsal Championships.

Iran women’s futsal league is in hot water with one of its renowned teams dismantled and a shattered timetable.

Azad University futsal team pulled out of the league games days before the opening date - which was postponed twice - of the current league, leaving its players and coach in limbo to find a new team to play.

The schedule is still unfixed as the match days shift from one day to another in a situation where no organization or official want to accept responsibility when things go wrong.

Teams and league organizers blame the problems on financial constraints. Expenses related to the sport are not affordable by the team managers alone. Sponsors are the main sources of financial backing for the clubs.

Iran national women’s futsal team has dominated the sport in the continent in the past two championships with two consecutive trophies in 2015 and 2018. The power of the national team comes from top level players who are involved in the domestic clubs and play in the national league.

But despite the high quality of the league games, women futsal clubs are still unknown to the public at large, and thus no sponsor is willing to support this section of Iran’s sporting community.

Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting service can and should be partly blamed for the unacceptable situation because as a matter of policy it has always refused to air the games. If the state-owned broadcaster airs the matches, sponsors could show interest in investing in the sport simply because their names/logos on the players jerseys would be seen on TV.

Regarding the chaotic atmosphere in the league games, now Iran’s best in the 2018 AFC Women’s Futsal Championship including best manager Shahrzad Mozaffar, top-scorer Sara Shirbeigi, and MVP Fereshteh Karimi have no teams to play and this certainly harms their elevated standing and by extension their performance.

Futsal League Organization, affiliated to the Football Federation of Iran, is no less guilty than the IRIB as it has never looked into the teams’ financial conditions and never set rules obliging clubs to be loyal to their contracts. Lack of proper regulations has let the futsal teams easily pull out from the league even in mid-season.

One issue crucial for the national women’s team to bring home more trophies is a top-flight league to play in. But in the current situation, future honors and victories of the twice AFC champions seems a far cry.

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