Mojahed Khaziravi

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Mojahed Khaziravi
Personal information
Full name Mojahed Khaziravi
Date of birth (1980-09-21) 21 September 1980 (age 36)
Place of birth Abadan, Iran
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Right Winger
Club information
Current team
Youth career
1994–1999 Sanat Naft
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2000 Sanat Naft
2000–2002 Esteghlal 18 (4)
2004–2005 Esteghlal 5 (0)
2005–2010 Foolad 8 (0)
2010–2013 Esteghlal Ahvaz (2)
2013– Sanat Nafft 4
National team
2001–2002 Iran 8 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Mojahed Khaziravi (Persian: مجاهد خذیراوی‎‎, born September 21, 1980) is an Iranian football player currently playing for Sanat Naft in Iran's Azadegan League.

His career took a dramatic turnover in June 2002 when he got arrested by Iranian police for frequenting a brothel in Tehran. At the time, Khaziravi was becoming a major football icon in Iran after significantly helping the national team in their failed qualification campaign for World Cup 2002.

Like many of Iran's great football talents, Khaziravi is a native of Khuzestan and like most players from this region of the country, he was known for his speed and dribbling skills. His main position was wingback but he could also play as an winger like his fellow Khuzestani Hossein Kaebi. He is right-footed.

Club career[edit]

Season Team Country Division Apps Goals
01/02 Esteghlal  Iran 1 13[1] 1
04/05 Esteghlal  Iran 1 5 0
05/06 Foolad  Iran 1 0 0
06/07 Foolad  Iran 1 1 0
07/08 Foolad  Iran 2 ? 0
08/09 Foolad  Iran 1 5 0
09/10 Foolad  Iran 1 0 0

Rise and Fall[edit]

Khaziravi started playing for his hometown Abadan's main club, Sanat Naft FC. At 19, he was undeniably the team's star but the club was relegated from top division in Iran. That's when he made the switch to national giants Esteghlal for the 2000–2001 season. This year proved to be critical for the young wingback as he helped his team win the last Azadegan championship. His performances during that season attracted Iran's national team manager, Miroslav Blazevic and he eventually got his first international appearance on July 22, 2001 against Bosnia.

The next season saw the league becoming officially professional and was named the Iranian Premier League. Again Khaziravi was instrumental in the Esteghlal's second-place finish to their rivals, Persepolis FC.

But during that same season, the young talent almost reached national stardom. His presences became more and more influential for the national team as Iran was battling for a spot in the World Cup. After losing a critical game against underdogs Bahrain on what became one of Iranian football's darkest days (Khaziravi mysteriously remained on the bench for this game), the team had to go through qualification playoffs. The Iranians first played the UAE with Khaziravi being instrumental in both matches. Their next opponents were the Republic of Ireland. On the first leg in Dublin, Ireland beat Iran 2-0. Iran ended up losing 2-1 on aggregate after winning 1-0 on the return leg.

By spring of 2002, Khaziravi had become an automatic choice for the national team and played friendlies against Venezuela (against whom he scored his only international goal) and Algeria. In addition to his national team success, he was on the shortlists of many European scouts. It had been speculated that Esteghlal agents were negotiating a deal for him with the German club Hansa Rostock.

But in June, the youngster was caught by Tehran police in a brothel and was arrested (prostitution is strictly forbidden in Iran). His arrest initially saw him receive a very harsh punishment of 99 lashes and he was handed a five-year suspension from playing with the national side and a three-year suspension from playing with his club Esteghlal. Needless to say, this was the beginning of the end to a very promising career for the then 22-year-old. Later his suspension was reduced and was not lashed either.

Signs of a comeback[edit]

During his suspension term, Khaziravi sought for opportunities to play outside of Iran, notably in Greece, but it never worked out. Things quickly turned in Mojahed's favor as his bans from Iranian football both were reduced to 20 months. In February 2004, Mojahed Khaziravi was once again eligible to play football for both club and country. Reports suggested that he would replace Alireza Nikbakht Vahedi in Esteghlal, after the latter had departed to play in the UAE league. Unfortunately, accumulated absence from professional football and injuries had strongly affected the winger's form and he missed most of the action until he was finally let go by Esteghlal in 2005.

For the 2005–2006 season, Khaziravi returned to professional action in his region of Khuzestan with the champions of the previous season Foolad FC in Ahvaz. Because of the departure of the team's star, Eman Mobali, to the UAE league, the team could not repeat its dominant performance of 2004–2005 and could only manage to finish 8th in the IPL.

He also played in the 2006 Asian Champions League, starting all six matches and scoring one goal, in Foolad's poor overall performance and early exit in the first round.[2]

For the 2006–2007 season, it was rumoured that he would make a comeback to his hometown team Sanat Naft of Abadan in case they were promoted to the IPL. Sanat Naft was not able to gain promotion, and Khaziravi remained in Foolad.