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Saturday, November 6, 2010
Diego Maradona not set to coach Iran

ESPNsoccernet staff

Reports that Diego Maradona is keen to manage Iran are wide of the mark as the former Argentina boss prepares to visit the country.

Maradona is believed to favour a move to the English Premier League where he has been linked with Aston Villa of late, but he has also been linked with the coaching position in Iran.

However, Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) president Ali Kaffashian confirmed that Maradona will just be visiting the country after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hailed him as "His Excellency" for his support of the Islamic republic.

"He is not coming to Iran to coach but to visit, since he had previously shown interest in seeing Iran and meeting with Mr Ahmadinejad,'' he told the ILNA news agency.

"Maradona showed interest in visiting Iran some two years ago, but due to his engagement as Argentina's coach, he could not come. But recently some people who were arranging his visit said that they are on it and we said fine and so the necessary paperwork has started."

Maradona, in 2007, gave a gift of one of his football shirts to the "Iranian nation," on which he wrote a slogan expressing his support and affection for the country.

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