Clemente accepts Iran coach post - reports

February 11, 2008

TEHRAN, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Former Spain coach Javier Clemente has accepted the offer to coach Iran's national soccer team, Iranian media said on Monday.

The three-times Asian Cup winners have been without a coach since the departure of Amir Ghalenoei after they were knocked out of the Asian Cup by South Korea in the quarter-finals last July.

The Iran Football Federation (FFI) in January said Clemente had been appointed to the post ahead of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers that started this month, but Clemente at the time said his decision would depend on a visit to Iran.

The ISNA news agency said he had now signed the contract without giving details.

Clemente was sacked by Serbia in December after failing to steer his team to the Euro 2008 finals.

Iran got their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a disappointing start when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Syria last Wednesday. Iran and Syria contest the all-Middle East Group Five along with the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Clemente managed Spain from 1992 to 1998 and has coached several clubs including Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.