Former Iran captain Mahdavikia under fire over Israeli flag

 
 
 
Former Iran captain Mehdi Mahdavikia has reportedly come under fire for wearing a shirt with a small Israeli flag on it during a friendly match.

The match was organised by football’s world governing body FIFA.

Reports on Monday said that Mahdavikia faces consequences, including losing his job as Iran under-23 national team coach.

Mahdavikia, 44, participated in a Dec.

17 match in Doha on the eve of the Arab Cup final.

The FIFA-organised game brought together an Arab legends team and world legends team.

All players wore shirts with small flags of all FIFA members, including Israel.

Iran does not recognise the state of Israel.

Hardliners in the Islamic Republic said that Mahdavikia has breached sports policy rules, which also include athletes from Iran not competing against those from Israel.

But the accusations have also been dismissed by former team-mates, sports media and others.

They pointed out the match was not an official one but rather a cultural event, and that Mahdavikia after all needed a shirt to play.

Mahdavikia won 111 Iran caps and also played club football in Germany at Bochum, SV Hamburg and Eintracht Frankfurt.

He has also coached in the Hamburg academy as well as junior Iran teams in the past.

 
Mazino Dickson/NAN
Former Iran captain Mahdavikia under fire over Israeli flag

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