Isfahan, Feb 28, IRNA-Secretary General of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Peter Velappan, on Tuesday called for promotion of the world's most popular sporting field in this central capital.
He made the request in his visit with Isfahan Mayor Seyed Morteza Saqaeian-Nejad.
"Promotion of football needs facilities," he told the mayor, adding municipalities could play an important role in this regard by establishing infrastructures and providing equipment.
The visiting AFC official noted classrooms were not enough to train football in schools and quality pitches and equipment were among prerequisites to this end.
He also urged the mayor to pay due heed to women's football and futsal.
Velappan also paid a visit to Sepahan and Zob Ahan clubs, expressing his satisfaction with their standard facilities.
"I am very happy that these two clubs are supported by two industrial giants and have constructive plans."
Velappan lauded Iranian footballers' exceptional role in the Asian Continent, saying successful performance of some Iranian players in different leagues of the world indicates their high abilities.
He added the AFC had a one-year plan that would help upgrade football management at professional level.
"The plan also helps provide necessary facilities for the province," vowed the secretary general.
Velappan said the top Iranian referee Massoud Moradi was favorite among his Asian counterparts for officiating at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
The AFC supremo added Moradi would head for Germany next month to attend a World Cup referees seminar and undergo related tests.
Velappan expressed hope the Asian Referee of the Year would find his way into the World Cup finals.
"Iran enjoys talented footballers and potentials for standing top in the Asian Continent," said the ranking official, however, adding the dream would not come true by chance and needs active and professional management.
Velappan said the AFC had 46 member states, out of which Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, China, and Uzbekistan had greater potentials.
Shifting to some states' effort for eliminating Iran from the World Cup, the visiting official said, "Iran has legally qualified for the World Cup and therefore FIFA supports Iran's presence in the event and there is no room for concern.
"The FIFA member states should send their articles of association to the world football's governing body by the end of next May if they are willing to extend their membership."
Velappan underlined that the FIFA rules had nothing to do with political norms and religious tenets and there was no reason for member states to avoid offering their articles of association.
The AFC secretary general arrived here Monday morning to attend a session on the "Asia Vision".
... Payvand News - 2/28/06 ... --