Iran complain to FIFA over 'unjust' refereeing

Iran suffered a 1-0 defeat to Alejandro Sabella's side in Belo Horizonte, with Lionel Messi's brilliant effort securing victory for Argentina in second-half stoppage time when the match looked destined to end level.

The result leaves Iran on one point with a single Group F match to play, giving them an outside chance of reaching the second round ahead of Nigeria, but the side's prospects of progressing could have been much different.

Early in the second half against Argentina, Ashkan Dejagah chased down Pablo Zabaleta, stealing the ball away in the penalty area when the Manchester City full-back attempted to clear his lines, and the Iran forward was subsequently tripped.

Serbian referee Milorad Mazic opted against giving a penalty, much to the outrage of Dejagah and his team-mates and Iran have now complained to FIFA regarding the situation.

Team manager Mehdi Mohammed Nabi said at a press conference on Monday: "We submitted a letter to FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, the referee department and local organising committee outlining our concerns about the referee for the Argentina versus Iran match.

"Within the letter we indicated that the referee department should review the ref's performance on the field in order for such incidents not to happen in the future, not just for our team, but for all teams who have done their best to get to the finals in Brazil, being watched by millions of people.

"We firmly believe FIFA look at the entire football family with fairness and equality.

"We would also like to remind FIFA that they should give careful consideration when making appointments for the remaining matches, which are of the utmost importance for the teams trying to reach the round of 16.

"I would like to remind people that it has taken three years of hard work through World Cup qualifying, training camps, selections in order to reach and it is unjust and unfair that out destiny will be made by a mistaken call."

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