TEHRAN – Iran coach Carlos Queiroz is reportedly upset that the team can't find opponents for World Cup tune-up matches which is hampering their preparations.
"The critics talk a lot although also know that no one wants to play against us. Iran does have (political) problems," the Mehr news agency quoted Queiroz as saying Saturday at the team's training camp in Turkey.
The remarks came after Greece cancelled a planned test against Iran set for Saturday, and that Kosovo then also declined to step in.
The World Cup build-up problems come after US President Donald Trump on May 8 announced the withdrawal of his country from the Iran nuclear deal and that he would partially renew sanctions on Iran.
Iran have played games against Turmenistan (won 1-0) and against a Turkish b-team (lost 2-1). A final test is scheduled for June 8 against Lithuania in Moscow.
But Queiroz also said these issues have also united team ahead of the nation's fifth World Cup participation in which they face Morocco, ex-champions Spain and European champions Portugal in Group B.dpa