Östersund Player Chooses to Play for Iran despite Sweden Invitation

Östersund’s Iranian-Swedish midfielder Saman Ghoddos has finally decided to wear the jersey of Iran’s national football team despite being invited to play for Sweden, the Swedish TV announced.

The 24-year-old midfielder, whose side Östersund FK tops the Group J of Europa League, was recently called on by Carlos Queiroz to play for Iran while he had played in two friendly matches for Sweden and scored a goal.

On 25 August 2017, Ghoddos revealed in an interview that he acquired his Iranian passport from the embassy. The following day, 26 August, he announced on his Instagram page that he would be joining Iran for their 2018 World Cup qualifiers against South Korea and Syria.

Ghoddos was called up for the first time for the Iran senior team training camps on 27 August 2017 by coach Queiroz for Iran’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Korea and Syria.

After Ghoddos couldn’t make his debut for Iran due to administrative issues with FIFA, he was called into Sweden’s World Cup qualification squad on 27 September for matches against Luxembourg and Netherlands.

He told the Swedish side that he will make his decision by Thursday, September 28. Now, Sweden’s Fotbollskanalen says Ghoddos has finally decided to play for Iran.

He later told a Swedish website about his decision that he is grateful to Andersson, the head coach of Sweden, for giving him the extraordinary option, but he has made his final decision and he will play for Iran.

He also wished success for Sweden in the road to FIFA World Cup 2018.

Andersson also noted that he is very upset about Ghoddos’ decision, but he respects that.

Ghoddos had earlier said in an interview with SportExpressen, “I will always love Sweden. I’ve grown up here. It is an honor to live here and to represent Sweden. At the same time, my parents are Iranian. I have Persian blood in my body. I love Iran too.”

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