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AFC President lauds IR Iran for record-breaking performance

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has offered his heartfelt congratulations to Islamic Republic of Iran for producing Asia’s best-ever performance at the FIFA Futsal World Cup after they beat Portugal on penalties to finish third in Colombia on Saturday (local time).

“On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to congratulate the Islamic Republic of Iran for their spectacular displays, commendable resolve and consistency throughout the competition.

“As articulated in our Vision and Mission, IR Iran have proven that Asian teams can not only compete but dominate the world’s biggest stages. I hope that IR Iran’s achievement will inspire more Asian teams to scale new heights in world futsal.

“IR Iran are now a dominant force in world futsal and their success in the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 is a testament to the culmination of years of hard work and commitment of everyone at the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran.”

In the Round of 16, IR Iran produced one of the biggest upsets after eliminating FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012 winners Brazil, 3-2 on penalties, after a hard-fought 4-4 draw in extra time.

Later, IR Iran became the first Asian team since 1992 to reach the semi-finals of the FIFA Futsal World Cup when they overcame a resilient Paraguay side 4-3 in the quarter-final.

Again, the Iranians defeated their opponents on penalties, beating Portugal 4-3 after a 2-2 draw in extra time to clinch a third-place finish.

Photo: FIFA/Getty Images