The secretary-general of Iran’s Football Federation has resigned from post a day after the deeply controversial re-election of Mehdi Taj as president.
Hassan Kamranifar had tried to call off Tuesday’s long-scheduled re-election of the Federation’s board of directors. But other board members overruled him, and as expected, the former president from 2016 to 2019 sailed back into the top role with two-thirds of the vote.
Minutes later, news was published in some Iranian media that Kamranifar had resigned. Taj himself denied the news.
But the next day Kamranifar then confirmed it himself. The former secretary-general claimed that for the past few months, while there were empty chairs in the boardroom, he had seen it as his duty to manage the Federation – and now he “no longer saw the need” to continue.
Apart from that, he said, he no longer wanted to continue; he was “tired” and had “endured a difficult experience”.
Mehdi Taj, whose previous tenure was marred by accusations of soft corruption, enjoys the at least partial support of six of the nine board members now in place.
The only other name floated so far in relation to the vacant secretary-general role is Ali Khatir, a former boss of Esteghlal FC who was banned from football-related activities in 2020 for bringing the game into disrepute. If Taj’s re-election is anything to go by, this may not matter.