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Iranian Football Federation confirms dismissal of head coach

Tehran, March 29, IRNA -- Head of Iranian Football Federation (FFI) Ali Kafashian on Sunday confirmed the dismissal of Ali Daei as Iran coach following a 2-1 home defeat against Saudi Arabia in a World Cup qualifier.

"Iranian Football Federation (FFI) presiding body, after an emergency session, voted to fire Daie from the post of Iran National Football Team coach," Kafashian told reporters.

He said that an Iranian coach will replace Daei in three friendly games and three crucial games leading to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"Under present conditions it will not be logical to have a foreign coach to lead our national team," added Kafashian.

He stressed that currently FFI has made no choice for the replacement of Daei.

He added that in hours, the presiding board of the FFI will hold a session to decide on several options to choose the successor.

"Under present conditions, the national team needs a courageous and powerful coach who, while having experience in heading a national team, will give the assurance to officials that we will ascend to the World Cup," he added.

Ali Daei

He noted that the 44-year-old Amir Qalenoei, the coach of league champions, and Mohammad Mayeli-Kohan, who trained the national team during 1995-1997 and is currently the coach of Saipa Karaj club, are main contenders.

"The presiding body has not made its choice yet," he underlined.

Daei had earlier said he would take Iran to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. However, Saturday's defeat to arch-rivals Saudi Arabia left the team with little chance for direct qualification.

Since his appointment in March 2008, the 40-year-old Daei has been under severe criticism for having constantly changed the team's formation without obtaining satisfactory score. The only highlight of his tenure was a 2-1 home win over North Korea.

Iranian football idol and former Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin striker, Daei has also been criticized for his insistence on closing down the national premier league for the sake of friendly matches and training camps abroad.

... Payvand News - 03/29/09 ... --

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