||ESPNsoccernet: World Cup 2010
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Iran appoint Spaniard Clemente as coach
TEHRAN, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Spain's Javier Clemente said he
has been offered the post of Iran coach although his decision
over whether to accept the job will depend on a visit to the
country next week.
'Iran want me to be their coach, we've talked and they've
offered me the job but the agreement is dependent on what
happens when I go there next week,' the former Spain coach told
Reuters. 'Nothing has been signed yet.
'The offer is for me to take them through the qualification
to the next World Cup but if I don't like the set-up, the way of
life, the installations or their project for the national team
then I won't take it.
'Being the coach of a national side is an important job. If
I did take it I would follow the same approach as I did when I
was coach of Serbia and I would live here in Spain and make
trips to Iran for the football and coaching matters.
'I'm having some medical treatment at the moment, but if the
doctor agrees I will travel to Iran next week and make the final
Earlier on Thursday, the Iran Football Federation (FFI) said
Clemente had been appointed to the post ahead of the 2010 World
Cup qualifiers starting in February.
'A contract for three years was signed with Clemente this
morning in Spain,' state television quoted FFI deputy head Mehdi
Taj as saying.
Iran have been without a coach since the departure of Amir
Ghalenoei after they were knocked out of the Asian Cup
quarter-finals by South Korea in July last year.
Clemente was sacked by Serbia in December after failing to
steer his team to this year's European Championship finals which
are being co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland.
He faces the enormous task of transforming the team into a
respectable force and living up to growing expectations from
Iranian fans who see him as a saviour.
Clemente managed Spain from 1992 to 1998 and has coached
several clubs including Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.
'Clemente will come to Iran next week but he will start his
job with Iran's first World Cup qualification game against Syria
on February 6 in Tehran's Azadi stadium,' Taj said.
Iran are in World Cup qualifying Group Five with Kuwait,
Syria and United Arab Emirates.
Iran's official IRNA news agency reported on Jan. 2 that
Iran's Football Federation (FFI) Transitional Committee had
chosen veteran Portuguese coach Artur Jorge.
However, FFI president Ali Kafashian, who had to approve the
committee's decision, said Jorge lacked the 'proper conditions'.
German Winfried Schaefer and former France coach Jacques
Santini had also been linked with the Iran post.