Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Hajsafi have been included in Iran’s provisional World Cup squad, a decision that has triggered controversy in the country. The two players had beeen indeed banned for life after they played for Greece’s Panionios against Maccabi Tel Aviv as part of the Europa League.

Hajsafi and Shojaie have no place in Iran’s national football team anymore….they crossed Iran’s red line, said Iran’s deputy sport minister at that time.

Iran’s sports ministry said that the two Iranian players had refused to play in the first leg of the game on Israel’s soil, despite facing the threat of financial penalties from Greece’s Panionios. However, playing in the return match in Grece triggered the controversy.

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