Clemente leaves Iran post

After just nine days Javier Clemente parts ways with Iranian football.

    Javier Clemente: Completes his coaching u-turn [EPA]
    New Iranian national football coach Javier Clemente's refusal to live full-time in Iran eventually cost him his job.

    Iran and Clemente parted ways after the Spaniard declined to reside permanently in the country rather than just travel to Iran before matches.

    "Since the first day I was very clear that I wasn't going to live there, in Tehran," Clemente told Spain’s AS newspaper.

    "I told them I would always be there for the time that was needed to do the job with the team and a little more if needed. They didn't understand."

    Ali Kaffashian, head of Iran's football federation, said Clemente refused to sign an addendum to his contract allowing him to leave Iran only twice a year for vacation.

    "Not respecting the signature and the pact is reason enough (for it not to work)," Clemente said.

    "They wanted to change the conditions of the contract, but only in the part that benefited them. I respected the agreement. They didn't.

    "After they changed the contract 30 times, I felt like I was wasting my time and I eventually was bored by it all. I'm not going to coach in Iran.''

    Clemente was prepared to commute from his villa in northern Spain for training sessions.

    He said he could study games on DVD at home before arriving in Iran 10 days before matches.

    Iran insisted it wanted a resident coach.

    "Under the present circumstances, we intend to employ an Iranian head coach. We will name a homegrown head coach next week,'' Kaffashian told Iranian News Agency IRNA.

    "We didn't want a remote control coach.''

    Media pressure

    The 57-year-old Spaniard said pressure from the local media had prompted the Iranian federation to do an about-turn and change the contract to insist he resided in the Islamic state.

    It could have been a good job, but if you can't respect the pact from the start then it's better not to go

    "The press pushed very hard despite the fact that I told the federation that my plan was to travel to Tehran 10 days before the games which would have given me plenty of time to have prepared for a match.

    "They wanted to change the conditions of the contract but only in their favour. I could have after signing that I wanted a 3,000-million contract or the Shah of Persia's palace but I didn't do that. I respected our agreement and they didn't.

    "I'm sorry not to have been able to work with Iran because of their fans. They behaved fantastically with me and gave me a great reception and I'm really grateful for that."

    Iran remains without a head coach despite the 2010 World Cup qualifiers being under way.

    Kafashian said he will be looking for a foreign coach to take over after the initial round of 2010 qualifiers.

    Warm welcome

    Clemente had been looking forward to coaching Iran.

    "It could have been a good job, but if you can't respect the pact from the start then it's better not to go,'' the former Marseilles coach said.

    "I feel like I could have worked with Iran for its fans. They welcomed me with open arms.''

    Clemente coached Serbia before being fired last December after the team failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championship.

    He also coached Spanish league teams Atletico Madrid, Real Betis, Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao. He coached Spain from 1992-1998.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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