1208 GMT December 12, 2019
Belgian head coach Marc Wilmots named 23 players for Iran’s 2022 World Cup Asian qualifier against Iraq on November 14.
Brighton & Hove Albion’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh, having been left out of the squad for the games against Cambodia and Bahrain in October, was again omitted by the Belgian.
Jahanbakhsh has fallen down the pecking order in the English club as he is yet to make a Premier League appearance this season.
Persepolis winger Mehdi Torabi was also ruled out despite recent form in the Persian Gulf Pro League which has seen the 25-year-old score three and make three assists in ten games for the Iranian champion.
Meanwhile, an impressive run of performances by Voria Ghafouri convinced Wilmots to give the Estghlal captain a call-up while Iranian duo Kaveh Rezaei and Ali Qolizadeh – who play for Charleroi in the Belgian Jupiter Pro League – also made the squad for the first time in Wilmots era.
Two victories over Hong Kong and Cambodia before a 1-0 away defeat against Bahrain has seen Iran sit third in Group C of the Asian qualifiers, trailing Iraq and Bahrain – which have collected seven points apiece.
Iran’s full squad:
Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Rashid Mazaheri (Tractor), Payam Niazmand (Sepahan)
Defenders: Morteza Pourali-Ganji (Al Arabi), Majid Hosseini (Trabzonspor), Hossein Kan’anizadegan (Persepolis), Voria Ghafouri (Esteghlal), Milad Mohammadi (Gent), Mohammad Naderi (Persepolis), Ramin Rezaeian (Al Shahania SC), Siavash Yazdani (Esteghlal)
Midfielders: Omid Ebrahimi (K.A.S. Eupen), Ehsan Hajsafi (Tractor), Ali Karimi (Esteghlal), Ahmad Nourollahi (Persepolis), Masoud Shojaei (Tractor), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis)
Strikers: Sardar Azmoun (FC Zenit St. Petersburg), Mehdi Taremi (Rio Ave FC), Karim Ansarifard (Al Sailiya SC), Ali Qolizadeh (Charleroi), Kaveh Rezaei (Charleroi), Mohammad Mohebi (Sepahan)