Iran is scheduled to hold its first world cup qualifier at Azadi Stadium in the capital Tehran against Syria on Thursday.
However, a few days ago, the Syrian Football Federation used the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of video assistant referee technology in Iran as pretexts to ask the AFC to cancel Tehran as the host. Syria demanded the game be played on neutral grounds. But the AFC rejected Syria’s request.
The decision outraged Syria’s coach Nizar Mahrous , who accused the top Asian football body of partiality in favor of Iran.
“Iran is witnessing a major outbreak of the coronavirus [pandemic]. The Azadi Stadium also lacks the video assistant referee technology. The AFC used double standards. It relocated Australia’s match to Doha and has not been impartial in its decision about our match against Iran,” he said in an interview with the website of the Syrian Football Federation.
“We are not in a good condition and I hope everyone will support the national team so that we can achieve a favorable result.”
Iran has yet to react to Mahrous’s comments.