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19 November 2022 - 21:29
Team Melli Will Play for All Iranian People: Ansarifard

Iran's Karim Ansarifard said they will play for all Iranian men and women in the 2022 World Cup and there's no exception.

Iran is scheduled to play England in Group B on the 2022 World Cup’s opener on Monday.

"It's my professional duty to play football and your professional duty to ask questions, but we all need to do things appropriately in our profession," Ansarifard told Reuters at Iran's training camp at Al Rayyan.

"This is why we always defend each other and say the truth... Yesterday there was a question asked of (Alireza) Jahanbakhsh, more or less the same question.

"What we say is interpreted another way in the media. Personally, I came here out of respect. Because of what happened, what I say will be interpreted differently."

Ansarifard said they play for "all men and women" in Iran.

"It's an absolute honor regardless of who comes to the stadiums, whether it's our fathers, our brothers, our men or women," he added.

"We play for all men and women of our country. When I say people of our country, there's no exception. That includes all men and all women.

"We have respect for all fans around the world. Iran has some of the best fans... We've got passionate fans who are very loyal. We're famous for it and we're very proud of them."

Ansarifard is playing at his third World Cup and the 32-year-old, who spent a year at Nottingham Forest, said he would bank on all his experience to help Iran qualify for the knockout stages for the first time.

"We are here to qualify for the knockout stages. Hopefully, until the very last second of our third group game, we will fight until the very end to fulfill this huge dream," he said.

"I'm relatively familiar with English football... England has one of the best leagues and some of the world's best players. I've always tried to pass on my interpretations of English football to my team mates."

News Code 194582

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