Mahnaz Zekaei’s reaction to being removed from the derby: I never judged in favor of a team as a referee

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Mahnaz Zekaei's reaction to being removed from the derby: I never judged in favor of a team as a referee

Mahnaz Zekavat’s reaction to being removed from the derby was never in favor of judging for a particular team.

The Iranian international female referee showed a reaction to her name being removed from the referees of derby 103.

With the announcement made yesterday by Mehdi Taj, the head of the Football Federation, Mahnaz Zekavat, an international football referee from Iran, was supposed to be present as a VAR referee in derby 103.

Last night, a photo of this referee was published on social media showing that she had previously supported Persepolis in the stadium.

This led the Football Federation to remove this referee from the list of referees for derby 103 to prevent any doubts, and instead, Saadollah Golmohammadi, a Tajik referee, was chosen as Zekavat’s substitute.

In this regard, ISNA approached Mahnaz Zekavat, where she stated that first, I must say that the referees’ committee does not allow referees to give interviews, but given the news that has been published about me in the past 24 hours, I felt it necessary to provide some explanations.

He stated that the published photo of him as a Persepolis fan dates back to 2018 during the final match of the AFC Champions League between Iranian Reds and Kashima Antlers of Japan. He mentioned that it was the first time women were allowed to attend Azadi Stadium after years. He also noted that Gianni Infantino was present at that game. He clarified that the focus was not on Esteghlal and Persepolis rivalry, but rather on women football fans seizing the opportunity to go to the stadium and watch the game.

The referee continued, ‘I have never shown bias towards any team in my career as a referee, and it’s strange to me that such an incident occurred after my introduction as one of the referees of Darby. That’s why I believe this incident originated from within the football community. In any case, I missed the chance to be present at Darby, but I hope whoever referees in this game succeeds.’


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