Former Germany and USA coach Jürgen Klinsmann has sparked outrage with his comments about Iran and its coach Carlos Queiroz.
Klinsmann will not be on the sidelines at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after leading Germany to the semifinals in 2006 and USA to the round of 16 in 2014.
Despite his absence, the 58-year-old has nonetheless managed to grab the headlines and draw the wrath of another manager.
His comments also came at a delicate time as the US will face Iran in a crucial group stage game on November 29.
MORE: Which teams qualified for the round of 16?
What did Jürgen Klinsmann say about Iran at the World Cup?
Following Iran’s 2-0 win over Wales on November 25, Klinsmann suggested on the BBC that both the side and their coach, Queiroz, employed questionable “skills” to achieve the win.
“It’s their culture and that’s why Carlos Queiroz fits in very well with the Iran national team,” said Klinsmann.
“He fought in South America – failed to qualify with Colombia and he also failed to qualify with Egypt. Then he returned right before the World Cup to lead Iran, where he had worked for a long, long time.
“That’s just part of their culture and the way they play, then they work with the referee, you’ve seen the bench always jumping up, working the fourth official and the linesman, constantly in their ears, constantly in your face. Kieffer Moore will probably tell you more about little incidents that we didn’t see after the game.”
How did Iran coach Carlos Queiroz react?
It was just over 24 hours before Queiroz hit back at Klinsmann for his comments on Iran as he urged the German to step down from his position at FIFA.
“Dear Juergen, you took the initiative to call me Carlos, so I believe it is right to call you Juergen. Right? Even if you don’t know me personally, you question my character with a typical biased judgment of superiority,” Queiroz posted on Twitter.
“No matter how much I can respect what you did on the pitch, those remarks about Iranian culture, the Iranian national team and my players are a disgrace to football. No one can violate our integrity if of course it is not at our level.
“Nevertheless, we would like to invite you as our guest to come to our national team camp, get in touch with Iranian players and learn from them about the country, the people of Iran, the poets and art, algebra and all that millennial Persian culture and also hear from our players how much they love and respect football.
“As Americans/Germans, we don’t understand your support. No problem. And despite your outrageous comments about the BBC trying to undermine our efforts, sacrifices and abilities, we promise that we will not make judgments about your culture, roots and background and that you are always welcome in our family.
“At the same time, we want to follow FIFA’s decision regarding your position as a member of the Technical Study Group for Qatar 2022 with full attention. Because of course we expect you to resign before visiting our camp.”
You took the initiative to call me Carlos, so I think it’s right to call you Juergen. Right?
Although you don’t know me personally, you question my character with a typically biased judgment of superiority.
— Carlos Queiroz (@Carlos_Queiroz) November 26, 2022
Iran at the 2022 World Cup
The Qatar tournament got off to a disastrous start for Iran when they were beaten 6-2 by England in the opening game.
However, Queiroz’s side managed to bounce back against Wales when Wayne Hennessey showed a late red card and helped them score twice in injury time to win 2-0.
That result sees Iran move up to second place in Group B, a point ahead of the USA, who they meet next.
Barring Wales beating England, a draw for Iran against the United States would be enough to secure their place in the knockout rounds.
Iran have not escaped the group stage in their five World Cup appearances, which makes this upcoming game against the USA even more meaningful.
Based on Queiroz’s response to Klinsmann, he and Iran certainly have something to prove in Qatar.