Jürgen Klinsmann has been accused of xenophobia by Iran's manager and the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran ©Getty Images

The Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) has called on FIFA to sack Jürgen Klinsmann for comments he made about the Iranian team on BBC television coverage of the World Cup.

Klinsmann's comments have also been labelled "outrageous" by Iran manager Carlos Queiroz, who likewise called on Klinsmann to be removed from FIFA's Technical Study Group.

Discussing what presenter Gabby Logan termed Iran's "gamesmanship" during the 2-0 victory over Wales, Klinsmann claimed "that's their culture, that's their way of doing it" over footage of several firm tackles, the majority of which were not deemed fouls.

"Carlos Queiroz, he fits really well the Iranian national team," ex-Germany international Klinsmann - himself famed for simulation - said.

"He [Queiroz] struggled in South America - he failed with Colombia to qualify then he failed with Egypt to qualify as well.

"Then he went back right before the World Cup now and guided Iran, where he worked already for [a] long, long time."  

Klinsmann added that "they [Iran] worked the referee, you saw the bench always jumping up", are "constantly in your face on the field", and repeatedly stressed "this is their culture".

The former United States manager also claimed this Iranian "culture" was compatible with a Guatemalan referee.

Klinsmann's comments - interpreted by many as an attack on Iranian culture and the country at large - drew swift criticism on social media and have now got the attention of both the FFIRI and Queiroz.

The FFIRI said in a statement that it had written to FIFA demanding an apology from Klinsmann, as well as the World Cup winner's resignation from the Technical Study Group.

FIFA's Technical Study Group is supposed to "provide cutting-edge analysis" of all matches in Qatar.

It is led by Arsène Wenger and also features Alberto Zaccheroni, Cha Du-ri, Sunday Oliseh, Faryd Mondragón and Pascal Zuberbühler.

Writing on Instagram, Queiroz, who is Portuguese, called Klinsmann's remarks "a disgrace to Football (sic)" and an example of "typical prejudiced judgment of superiority".

Queiroz also called for Klinsmann to be removed from the FIFA Technical Study Group, as well as inviting him to the Iranian camp to watch the team train.

"As American/German, we understand your no support", Queiroz wrote.

"No problem.

"And despite your outrageous remarks on BBC trying to undermine our efforts, sacrifices and skills, we promise you that we will not produce any judgments regarding your culture, roots and background and that you will always be welcome to our Family."

Iran beat Wales 2-0 to move second in Group B ©Getty Images
Iran beat Wales 2-0 to move second in Group B ©Getty Images

Iran's participation at the World Cup is highly contentious because of both widespread anti-Government protests at home and Iran's role in providing weapons for Russia to use in the war in Ukraine.

Russia's national team were kicked out of the European playoffs because of the war in Ukraine.

Iran's players did not sing the national anthem ahead of their opening game against England, which was seen as a show of support for the protests.

They sang before the Wales match but appeared reluctant in doing so.

Players and their families are reported to have faced threats from the regime because of their actions, and ex-international Voria Ghafouri was arrested shortly before the Wales match on charges of having "tarnished the reputation of the national team and spread propaganda against the state".

Protests have been continuing in Iran for more than 50 days following the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini in September.

Amini was killed by Iran's so-called morality police, the protestors believe, after being arrested for breeching the country’s rigid dress code for women.

Iran's participation at the World Cup comes against a backdrop of civil unrest and major protests at home ©Getty Images
Iran's participation at the World Cup comes against a backdrop of civil unrest and major protests at home ©Getty Images

At least 416 people including 51 children have been killed in security forces' brutal response to the protests, according to pressure group Iran Human Rights.

Several spectators have staged protests at the World Cup in Qatar, but have also complained about censorship from Qatari officials.

One fan displayed a shirt with Amini's name on at the Wales match but it was confiscated.

"Women, Life, Freedom" is a rallying cry which has been heard throughout the protests and flags bearing that message have also been confiscated.

Somewhat ironically in light of Klinnsman's withering assessment of Iran's "culture", it was Wales who were reduced to 10 men in the Group B match when goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy was given his marching orders for recklessly kicking Mehdi Taremi in the face.

Iran scored twice after Hennessy's dismissal to earn a vital win that keeps their World Cup campaign alive and leaves Wales starring down the barrel of an early exit.

insidethegames has approached FIFA for comment on Klinsmann's status as a member of the Technical Study Group.