Iran General NewsRPT-Soccer-Iran opposed to Clemente commute plans

RPT-Soccer-Iran opposed to Clemente commute plans

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Reuters: Iran’s soccer federation has rejected a suggestion by prospective new coach Javier Clemente that he would commute to the Islamic Republic from his native Spain, casting doubt on his chances of landing the job. TEHRAN, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Iran’s soccer federation has rejected a suggestion by prospective new coach Javier Clemente that he would commute to the Islamic Republic from his native Spain, casting doubt on his chances of landing the job.

“We don’t want a remote control coach,” soccer federation chief Ali Kafashian told the ISNA news agency late on Tuesday, a day after Clemente signed a contract to take charge of the three-times Asian Cup winners for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

He said the Iranian side had yet to sign the contract and it had added a paragraph under which Clemente, 57, could travel to Spain twice a year.

“And if he should decide to travel more he would have to seek the federation’s permission,” said Kafashian, who is secretary general of the Iran Football Federation.

“We don’t want a flying coach and if Javier Clemente does not accept our conditions we will consider other alternatives. Even though Clemente has signed the contract we have not as yet signed it,” he said.

The former Spain and Serbia coach told a Spanish daily this week he would continue to live in the Basque Country and would travel to Iran in order to prepare for matches.

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“I will live in my house on the beach in Zarautz and travel to Tehran a week or two before the games and whenever is necessary,” he told sports daily AS.

“To be coach of Iran you don’t have to live there. You can only see one match live at a time and the rest you have to study on the video and as far as I know the video works the same in Tehran and Zarautz.”

But Kafashian said: “It would not be acceptable to us for him to make decisions on the national football team by watching the league games (on video).”

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 Iranian team into a respectable force and living up to fans’ expectations.

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 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. (Reporting by Hossein Jaseb; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by John O’Brien)

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