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Bayern Munich soccer team arrives in Tehran for friendly game

Tehran, Jan 13, IRNA-German record champion Bayern Munich arrived here from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, before Friday noon to play a friendly against Persepolis in the 100,000-seater Azadi Stadium on the same day.

Persepolis Club managing director Mohammad-Hassan Ansarifard was among those, who warmly welcomed the German side at the Mehrabad International Airport.

Ansarifard wished a good time for Bayern in the capital.

The newly elected managing director said he had played for Persepolis for eight years, welcoming the Bundesliga-bound team on behalf of the popular club and fans.

"The number of Iranian fans of Bayern Munich has soared since national skipper Ali Daei and midfielder Ali Karimi joined it," said former national midfielder Ansarifard adding, "And now some 20 million Persepolis fans are eagerly waiting for the kickoff of the Bayern-Persepolis friendly."

Bayern Munich sporting director Uli Hoeness expressed his pleasure over the German team's presence in Tehran, saying Bayern players are keen to play in front of 100,000 spectators.

Hoeness, on behalf of the Bayern Munich Club, congratulated Iran on its qualification for the 2006 World Cup, expressing hope Germany would host the prestigious event as well as possible.

The friendly kicks off at 03:00 pm.

Bayern Munich has returned to Tehran after more than 30 years, when it conceded a 6-3 loss.

The last time Bayern played in Tehran was in 1972 when it lost to an all-star team of Tehran-based clubs. Bayern legend and current board member Franz Beckenbauer was the skipper of the German team on that occasion.

Bayern has traveled to Tehran with all its stars including former Persepolis player Ali Karimi. Just Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz is not accompanying the Bundesliga midseason champion.

Asian Referee of the Year Massoud Moradi has been picked by Arbitration Committee of Iran's Football Federation to judge the friendly.

The committee chief Reza Ghiassi told IRNA Esmaeil Safiri and Davoud Raf'ati associate Moradi as linesmen and Mahmoud Rafiei is on standby as fourth judge.

... Payvand News - 1/13/06 ... --

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