Skocic invites 23 players for first camp after pandemic

TEHRAN, Oct. 04 (MNA) – Dragan Skocic, head coach of the Iranian national football team, has invited 23 players to the team’s camp for two upcoming friendly matches.

Team Melli will take on Uzbekistan on October 8 in Tashkent before facing Mali in Turkey five days later as part of the preparation for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

This will be the first time Skocic will lead the team despite the fact that some nine months have passed since he was appointed as the coach.

Here are the players that have been called on to join the camp:

Goalkeepers:

Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo), Payam Niazmand (Sepahan), Rashid Mazaheri (Esteghlal)

Defenders:

Majid Hosseini (Trabzonspor), Hossein Kanaanizadegan (Persepolis), Shoja Khalilzadeh (Persepolis), Aref Gholami (Esteghlal), Sadegh Moharami (Dinamo), Milad Mohammadi (Gent), Mojtaba Najarian (Foolad), Siamak Nemati (Persepolis)

Midfielders:

Ehsan Haji Safi (Tractor), Ali Karimi (Esteghlal), Ahmad Nourollahi (Persepolis), Omid Noorafkan (Sepahan), Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi), Saman Ghoddos (Brentford), Mehdi Ghaedi (Esteghlal), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Mehdi Torabi (?)

Forwards:

Sardar Azmoun (Zenit), Mehdi Taremi (Porto), Kaveh Rezaei (Charleroi)

Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Ashkan Dejagah, Masud Shojaie, Morteza Pouraliganji, Karim Ansarifard, Alireza Beiranvand, and Omid Ebrahimi are among major players absent on Skocic’s first list.

Iran is third in Group C, five points behind Iraq, and must win their four matches to qualify for the 2022 World Cup qualification next stage. The 2022 World Cup qualifiers have been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MAH/ 5037459

News Code 164289

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