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World Cup: Iran s Ezatolahi to miss campaign opener due to FIFA ban

Wednesday - June 13, 2018 2:32 pm , Category : SPORTS
St. Petersburg (Russia) June 13 (IANS) Iran s national football team on Wednesday were preparing for their opening FIFA World Cup game without star defensive midfielder Saeid Ezatolahi who is serving a two-game ban.
Iran will take on Morocco in their first Group B match on Friday reports EFE news agency.
The 21-year-old who featured for Spanish giants Atletico Madrid at youth level is the only player at the World Cup expected to miss their team s opening game due to suspension.
FIFA s disciplinary committee had imposed a two-game suspension on Ezatolahi in October 2017 for violent conduct during a qualifying match on August 31 against South Korea in Seoul.
After a clash of heads in the 52nd minute Ezatolahi was deemed by the referee to have deliberately stamped on South Korea s Kim Min-jae.
The Iranian defensive midfielder was given a straight red card for the offence.
Ezatolahi has already missed one game since the suspension a qualifying match against Syria on September 5 which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Coached by Carlos Queiroz Iran were the first team from the Asian Football Confederation to book their place at World Cup 2018 in Russia.
Nicknamed the "Persian Pogba " Ezatolahi plays for FC Rostov in the German top division and is considered one of the most talented footballers in Asia.

--IANS ajb/

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