Carlos Queiroz: 'Iran World Cup chances hampered by sanctions'

Iran will start as underdogs for their Group F clash with Nigeria because of the impact of international sanctions, according to head coach Carlos Queiroz.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has suggested that his team will be clear underdogs for their opening Group F game against Nigeria because of the international sanctions against the country.

The ex-Manchester United assistant manager, who has been in the job for three years, appeared to be looking to ease pressure on his side, but is convinced that the current relationship between the Persian Gulf state and the wider world is having an effect on their nation's football.

He told AP: "The economic and political situations have put a team from Iran at the complete disadvantage in relation to other teams that are here."

On Sunday, Nigeria's head coach Stephen Keshi admitted that the Super Eagles know very little about their opponents ahead of the clash in Cuiaba on Monday.

Iran will be taking part in their fourth World Cup, with their first appearance coming in the 1978 tournament, in Argentina.

Argentina's forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal against Paraguay during a Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup South American qualifier football match at Defensores del Chaco stadium in Asuncion, Paraguay, on September 10, 2013
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