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Iranian football faces crisis as coach Marc Wilmots is 'missing'

Iranian football faces crisis as coach Marc Wilmots is 'missing'

The No. 1 team in Asia, Iran is in a serious crisis after suffering two consecutive defeats against Bahrain and Iraq in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

According to Iran's Tehran Times, no one knows when coach Marc Wilmots will return to the country. He immediately flew back to Belgium after Iran unexpectedly lost to Iraq in the fifth round of the 2022 World Cup qualifier.

The Iranian Football Association was unable to arrange a friendly match for their team in the FIFA Day.

The defeat against Iraq led Iran to fall to 3rd place in Group C, 4 points behind Iraq - the top team. This is a surprising result because Iran is rated the highest in Group C and is the No. 1 Asian team on FIFA world rankings (27th).

The head of the Iranian Football Federation, Mr.Mehdi Taj, said their team would play in a friendly match after the match against Iraq, but some Iranian sources said coach Marc Wilmots would not return to Iran until the end of March 2020. That means that the team from West Asia will be without a head coach in about 5 months.

Iranian football faces crisis as coach Marc Wilmots is missing

According to the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying schedule, Iran will play against Hong Kong on March 26th, 2020 and be Cambodia's guest 5 days later. Besides, Iran will also have two difficult matches with Bahrain and Iraq in June 2020.

Iran must win all 4 remaining matches to have a chance to place a ticket to the third round of the 2022 World Cup qualifier. Iranian Football Association spokesman Amir Mahdi Alavi has dismissed rumors of the "disappearance" of Iran head coach Marc Wilmots.

According to Mahdi Alavi, the Belgian coach will return to Iran in January to manage the West Asian team to play a friendly match. But it is still an unanswered question: with whom will Iran play friendly football?