March 5, 2024

Not eye-catching performance for Iranian teams in 2023/24 ACL

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TehranTimes – TEHRAN, The performance of the three Iranian football representatives in the 2023/24 AFC Champions League wasn’t eye-catching, with two teams being eliminated in the group stage and only one team managing to qualify for the next round.

In a disappointing match Tuesday night, Iran’s Persepolis football team suffered a 2-1 defeat against Qatar’s Al Duhail in Group E, dashing their hopes of advancing to the Round of 16.

With just six points in six matches, debutants Nassaji failed to qualify for the next stage.

Despite a 2-1 loss to Al Ittihad at the King Abdulaziz Stadium, Sepahan managed to secure a spot among the top three second-placed teams in the group stage.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, where all four representatives advanced to the top eight of the West Asian teams, only Sepahan made it through from Iran in the AFC Champions League.

Since Tuesday night, the extensive investment made by the Saudis in the last one or two years has been cited as the reason for their impressive performance, while the Iranian representatives’ performance has been criticized by many Iranian media and football fans.

The failure of Iranian representatives can be attributed to various factors, but the main reason is probably the poor planning of the Iran Professional League (IPL) matches and frequent suspensions during non-FIFA days.

Inadequate club management, inability to generate income and secure funds for signing quality international players, and technical weaknesses in coaches’ decisions during significant games are other reasons for the failure of the Iranian teams in Asian football.