'Lot of hope' for Iranian football after nuclear deal

National team coach Queiroz is positive but wants improved facilities for the side to improve.

    Iran is the highest-ranked Asian team, according to FIFA [Getty Images]
    Iran is the highest-ranked Asian team, according to FIFA [Getty Images]

    Iran football coach Carlos Queiroz is too well versed in football politics to accept all the issues he faces in his role will be fixed following the nuclear deal that will lift financial sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

    The former Real Madrid and Portugal manager has already resigned twice in his four years at the helm of the Iran side following rows with administrators on how to improve the running of the game in Asia's best nation, according to FIFA rankings.

    The former Manchester United assistant boss is desperate for greater investment to help a side he led to last year's World Cup, but spending is not easy.

    Mansour Ghanbarzadeh, an Iranian Football Federation committee member, told Reuters last month the IFF were still waiting on $10m of World Cup prize money, frozen as part of international sanctions.

    But that money, part of more than $100bn of Iranian assets frozen abroad, should be unblocked soon after Iran and six major world powers reached an agreement last month imposing limits on Tehran's nuclear programme.

    "There is a lot of hope now. There is a full field of positivity in front of us," Queiroz told Reuters in a recent interview of the deal.

    "Between the dream and reality sometimes there is a gap, but no doubt about it there is a lot of hope and everybody expects things will come much more easy for the preparation."

    Queiroz complained of being in a one-sided marriage upon quitting the Iran job following the World Cup in Brazil last year, only to perform a U-turn and stay on.

    He refused to name names, but hinted of continued tensions with members of the IFF or sports ministry who didn't agree where the money should be spent.

    "Iranian football needs better fields, better facilities. We need to invest in coaching education, youth teams. A lot of areas we must invest and implement specifics.

    "There is no future without investment. The future is all about how much you work today and prepare to anticipate the problems of the future. The less you do, the more problems you will face in future. The key point is not to talk about today.

    "But some people they are sure they are not here in 15-20 years so they don't care about the future. This is not the right way."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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