According to the sports correspondent of Fars News Agency, Mohammad Reza Saket, regarding receiving the professional license of Sepahan Club, stated: The professional league is the strongest, most organized, most effective and most legal league that should be held. The AFC and FIFA have been moving towards establishing a professional league for many years, with the aim of improving the structure of the club and increasing and developing the infrastructure for competitions, legalizing the relationship between players and coaches and clubs.
He added: “First, they started with field visits.” Then they developed criteria and standards. Notified to local federations. He then called on all federations to set up a professional licensing committee. To provide a way to promote all clubs. When this happened, the criteria were announced. After that, they provided training for clubs. Special people were trained.
Saket stated: We also left Basirian and he became the custodian. This movement started with the other pillars of Sepahan. The most important thing about a professional license is 5 criteria. The first is the legal criterion. In this criterion, they want the legal structure, the board of directors, the supervisor, the structure, and so on. Paragraphs explain the issues of who have the right to sign? What are the principles of ownership of the club? The status of contracts, player lists, bilingual contracts and the charter of your disciplinary behavior are separated. The following criteria are defined.
The CEO of Sepahan said: The second criterion is personnel and management, which deals with the internal structure of the club. Everyone is asked for your resume and information. They receive exactly these things from you. The next criterion is sports. They are very sensitive about what your development path is for football. How is your academy? How to nurture players and services to grassroots teams and how to transfer to higher teams. They want football and non-football programs. What about medical support, basic football program, social responsibilities? How many basic teams do you have? What is their structure? They also pay attention to racial equality.
He added: The next criterion is financial. Financial statements are audited to control your documents. Requires internal and external audits and accurate financial statements. Even ticket revenues are claimed for broadcasting rights. Expenses are asked how much you spent in which department. They ask you to clarify the salaries of the players, coaches and base teams, office expenses, and so on. They even want tax issues.
Sepahan CEO stated: The fifth criterion is infrastructure. Where is your teacher? What are the conditions? Who owns it? If it is a lease, they want a bilingual lease. They want your training facilities. You should have a gym and so on. These are among the basic necessities.
Regarding the fact that Sepahan was qualified in a few percent of these cases, Saket said: The AFC has moved towards quality improvement, there is no forgiveness. Since November of last year, we have formed the professional licensing committee of the club and we have 17 experts. The manager of our adult football team is present. Various sections are active in this committee. Based on these criteria, field visits are performed by experts.
He added: field presence and accurate documentation should be. They came from AFC and FIFA to visit Sepahan infrastructure and checked according to the list. 1443 Document our children in the field of professional licenses. Only the club itself can upload documents to the AFC platform. We should not say that they are to blame for this and that. They first give internal approval and then the AFC audits again. It does not seem to confirm all the words of the primitive and professional committee. Last year, the AFC fined its committee for approving some Iranian documents. They have accurate screening.
The CEO of Sepahan said: The professional licensing committee has left for repeated trainings in recent years, and a meeting will be held when the documents are sent. It was in previous years as well. The members of the primary committee sat down and saw our documents. The Primary Committee and the AFC can see but no other club knows. They checked all the cases. They gave warnings and we made corrections. This process is not something we deal with in the short term.
Saket stated: 1400 pages of documentaries is not an easy task. All the managers of the country’s clubs were valuable and hardworking. But instability in management organization threatens frequent changes. Surely other managers are capable too. I ask the Ministry of Sports not to give artificial respiration to Esteghlal and Persepolis. Let them stand on their own two feet. Managers have the ability. Let them find their organizational stability. Of course, some of them resorted to using the capacities of the ministry. The ministry must allow them to work according to their own capacities.
Regarding the fact that Esteghlal and Persepolis, like Sepahan, need a lot of money, Saket said: “It is not just money.” Choosing a player in a club is stability, schedule, infrastructure, respect for the player and the coach, and these are the criteria. The players we are proud of came based on this. Let there be stability in these organizations. The heavy battle of getting a professional license is getting harder day by day.
Referring to the start of the professional licensing headquarters next year, the CEO of Sepahan said: Last week, we held a 2023 professional licensing meeting. Items are added every year. We must pay attention to all that is required. Colleagues at the club also helped us succeed in this path to achieve this in 2023. A professional license is an annual certification that gets harder every year.
Regarding the provision of infrastructure for Esteghlal and Persepolis, he said: “Fortunately, Esteghlal and Persepolis were provided with their infrastructure by the Tehran Municipality a few years ago, when Qalibaf was in charge.” That was a good capacity. One of the requirements of a professional license is to have the infrastructure for training and the gym. The spectator capacity of Esteghlal, Persepolis, Sepahan and Traktor is such that they should have high-capacity stadiums. It was a matter of practice that the necessity was met and that the infrastructure existed. We must believe that all activities are the responsibility of the club itself. The AFC says the club is responsible for the integrity, accuracy and soundness of the documentation.
Referring to the case of Gabonese player Gol Gohar, Saket said: “In this case, the gentlemen gave the documents, but the documents must be held accountable by the club.” We also had his example in Sepahan. In 1990-91, Sepahan used a player whose card had been approved by the AFC, but because it was illegal, the game was reduced to 3-0, giving the Qatari team three points. It also happened recently that the disciplinary committee voted.
In an interview with the Sports and People program, the CEO of Sepahan said that he believes that the work should not be referred to the Appeals Committee: “It is normal and it is applicable in AFC.” The first and last respondents consider all the documents to be the club. All clubs must go this way. In addition, we have a professional license from Iran and Asia. The league and federation organization has regulations. Those who want to go to the Asian Games must reach the Asian capacity.
Regarding the fact that if they say right now that one of the two teams, Esteghlal or Persepolis, will be given to him under the same conditions, that his professional license will be issued next year, and whether such a thing is possible, Saket said: I consider myself a soldier of Sepahan, but I am sure that a license can be obtained for Esteghlal and Persepolis, provided that the organization starts tomorrow morning.
In an interview with the Sports and People program, the CEO of Sepahan said that there are photos of several Persepolis players such as Moghanloo and Rafiei on his virtual page: “These are Sepahan players and they are wearing gold.” Asadi was a Sepahan player who is currently in Persepolis. I have no right to talk about Asadi. Like Sarlak and many other players, he has grown up in Sepahan.
Regarding the fact that the star has been removed from the logo of Persepolis club, which has been protested by Persepolis fans, he said: “In our country, there is no regulation for the star yet, in the world, who can have a star for what occasion?” Be. Whatever I asked, did we violate the regulations? They said there is no regulation at all. It really is.
“These stars are Asian,” Saket said of whether he would remove the stars if he left the Esteghlal logo. Because he is Asian, his name is finally the independence of Iran. In Asia, Iran’s Persepolis is Iran’s steel and Iran’s Sepahan. In the international arena, we are all one. Last year, when they moved the Persepolis game to the Asian final, we welcomed it. Because Persepolis was Iran. This is our belief. Our players today are the stars and loved ones of Sepahan Club. As well as a number of Sepahani are in other clubs. We do not care about them and we wish them good health.
The former secretary general of the Football Federation said regarding the Wilmots case: “At the time the contract was signed, I was not in the administrative area of the federation.” I was in the national team because I was retired. Wilmots was a very good coach in the beginning. He started his work very well. Federation officials, Taj and other loved ones were able to establish a close relationship with him. But foreigners care a lot about payments. Iran could not pay for 5 months due to oppressive sanctions.
Saket added: “FIFA, which believes that politics should not be done, why did it impose sanctions on Iran?” These sanctions are cruel and anti-football development. FIFA is in charge of the development of football in the world. This money will be paid. FIFA has made it a rule that if a player’s money is delayed for 2 months and the coach’s money’s for 3 months, he can get all his money with two 15-day warnings.
Asked if a better contract could be signed, he said: “Before the contract was closed, the text was prepared by the international section of the federation. I do not know if an item has changed. Wilmots’s case goes back to the fact that this money was not paid and he abstained for 5 months. It was only because of Taj’s advice and encouragement to him. They were trying behind the scenes. The same payment that was leaked and Kelly made a fuss was because there was money in FIFA.
The former manager of our national football team stated: Right now, friends in the federation said that Iran has 13 to 16 million dollars in FIFA. But it is not possible to pay. A letter was being written from Iran at that time. Part of the salary was paid to FIFA by a letter from the federation. In June of that year, FIFA imposed new conditions and did not allow the money to be paid.
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