(IranSportsPress.com | The Sydney Morning Herald) – CANBERRA, Carlos Queiroz asked how referee Ben Williams could sleep at night and said he was considering his future in the game after 10-man Iran crashed out of the Asian Cup on Friday.
The coach had to be held back by his players after Mehrdad Pooladi’s controversial dismissal and he was furious as he faced media following the penalties loss to arch-rivals Iraq.
Queiroz was earlier fined $3,000 for an outburst against Australian ref Williams and he unsuccessfully tried to bite his tongue as he contemplated the ruins of Iran’s campaign.
“Can he (the referee) sleep tonight?” Queiroz asked after Iran went out 7-6 on penalties, after twice coming from behind to make it 3-3 after extra time.
“It’s just a question. If it’s necessary I put my knees to the ground to show my respect and humble attitude to ask him how we understand this decision, you tell me.
“I want to emphasise this one, two, three, four times, it’s just a question. I ask you to make the judgement because now we go home.”
Sardar Azmoun scored on 24 minutes, but things turned sour for Iran when Pooladi was cautioned for simulation and then sent off when Williams realised it was his second yellow card.
Iraq levelled through Ahmed Yaseen and they twice went ahead in extra-time only for Iran to claw back equalisers through Morteza Pouraliganji and Reza Ghoochannejhad.
But their exertions were in vain as in a marathon shoot-out, Iran’s Vahid Amiry struck the post and Salam Shakir stepped up to fire the winning penalty.
“I don’t have many comments about Mr. Williams because if I make comments today I finish my career and I don’t think after 34 years that I deserve to finish my career here,” he said.
“I’m very proud of the way my team played and the fight but unfortunately I cannot my express my opinion about the referee and what happened because if I do somebody says I’ve insulted (him) and I’m fined.
“So you tell me in your opinion if the goalkeeper pushed my player, it’s a question, not an opinion if it is a correct decision to give the yellow card?”
The former Real Madrid boss, who signed a new four-year-deal with the Iranian FA last year, replied philosophically when asked about his future.
“I really don’t know, sometimes you come to moments in football where you don’t know if it makes sense to keep going in this job. I really don’t know.”
The AFC then tried to award Queiroz a plaque for Iran meeting their “Don’t Delay, Play” initiative of keeping the ball active for 60 minutes.
But he just scoffed and muttered: “I will endorse this trophy to the referees because they deserve it more than me.”