Asia and Africa being left behind - Queiroz

Carlos Queiroz said that the qualifying process for Asian and African teams puts them at a disadvantage when compared to European nations.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz   -  Getty Images

Carlos Queiroz has called for rule changes that would allow Asian and African football to develop, saying the gap between Europe and other continents is getting wider.

Queiroz saw his Iran side narrowly beaten by Spain in its second World Cup Group B fixture, courtesy of Diego Costa's 54th-minute goal, and he told reporters after the game that many Asian and African nations are at a disadvantage when it comes to developing for success on the world stage.

Having beaten Morocco 1-0 in its opening game, Iran still stands a chance of reaching the World Cup knockout stages by taking points from its final group game against Portugal, but Queiroz did not give a positive assessment when asked whether Asian football was catching up on Europe.

"I have exactly the opposite opinion," he said. "Two years ago I said European football has taken off far away from the other countries and continents.

"Other continents are struggling. Only the nations that have the opportunity to bring players to Europe have a chance to be closer. For Asia the gap is higher, for Africa the gap is higher.

"There are some teams like Morocco or Senegal we say are African teams, but they're not African teams. They're African players playing in Europe, so all the players who benefit from being in Europe can help national teams, but my opinion, having been in the game 37 years, it is clear."

Iran played 18 qualifying matches to reach the 2018 World Cup in the Asian Football Confederation section, whereas European teams played just 10 games to determine who would go to Russia.

Queiroz lamented the widening gap between wealthy European football associations and the struggling Asian equivalents.

"Four years ago the gap between Asia and Africa was big, eight years ago it was big and it's still growing, World Cup after World Cup, if the rules don’t change," he said.

"The development plans for Asia and Africa cannot be exactly the same as for Europe.

"You cannot ask Iran to prepare a World Cup [qualifying] game in four days with the same rules as Germany, Brazil and Portugal, it makes no sense."

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