News, Culture & Society

Iran’s Sardar Azmoun suffers a calf injury… now a doubt to face England at the World Cup

Iran forward Sardar Azmoun emerges as a major doubt for the World Cup after tearing a calf muscle… with the Bayer Leverkusen star now facing a race against time to face England in his country’s opening group game in Qatar

  • Sardar Azmoun has suffered a calf tear and is now a doubt for the World Cup
  • He was one of Iran’s key players in qualifying for the tournament in Qatar
  • He could now be ruled out of the World Cup which starts next month
  • Iran are due to face England in their opening group match in Doha 
  • Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates

Iran forward Sardar Azmoun is a doubt for the World Cup after picking up an injury while warming up for Bayer Leverkusen.

The Bundesliga club said late Thursday that the 27-year-old Azmoun is expected to miss six to eight weeks after tearing a muscle in his right calf in the warm-up before Tuesday’s 2-0 loss at Porto in the Champions League.

His chances of playing in Qatar look to be hanging in the balance, with Iran’s first match of the tournament in less than seven weeks. 

Sardar Azmoun is a doubt for the World Cup after tearing a muscle in his right calf

He suffered the injury in the warm-up for Bayer Leverkusen's match against Porto on Tuesday

He suffered the injury in the warm-up for Bayer Leverkusen’s match against Porto on Tuesday

Iran’s World Cup campaign begins against England on November 21 in Doha, four days before playing Wales in Ar-Rayyan. The Iranians’ final game in Group B is against the United States on November 29 in Doha.

Azmoun, who joined Leverkusen in January from Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg, has one goal in 17 Bundesliga appearances for the team. He has yet to score this season.

Azmoun has 41 goals in 65 appearances for Iran, including 10 goals in World Cup qualifying.

His participation in Qatar had already been in doubt prior to his injury as he showed support to the ongoing protests in Iran following the death of Mahsa Animi in police custody, despite knowing that could face a ban from the Iranian FA for his stance.

Azmoun is now a doubt for Iran's World Cup game against Gareth Southgate's England

Azmoun is now a doubt for Iran’s World Cup game against Gareth Southgate’s England

Azmoun posted on Instagram last week: ‘At worst I’ll be dismissed from the national team.. No problem. I’d sacrifice that for one hair on the heads of Iranian women. This story will not be deleted. They can do whatever they want. Shame on you for killing so easily; long live Iranian women.’

Bayern Munich fans showed solidarity with Iranian protesters and Azmoun on Saturday when the German champions faced Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. 

They unveiled supportive banners when the striker came on as a second-half substitute.

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk