Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Could an American lead Iran to 2010 World Cup glory?

Could it really happen? Could an American citizen be named Iran's next national team coach? In the current geopolitical environment, it seems a bit off, but Afshin Ghotbi might change that.

Ghotbi was born in Iran, but lived outside the country (mostly in the US, where he become a citizen) for 30-years. However, he returned to Iran in August to take over the coaching job at one of Iran's biggest clubs, Persepolis F.C. and so far it has been very successful. In 11 matches, he has seven wins and four draws and is nine-points clear at the top of the premier league. Other Iranian managers have panned his tactics, but the results speak for themselves.

With the Iranian national team still without a coach and 2010 qualification beginning in February, there has been talk of Ghotbi, thanks to his domestic work, taking over. If it did happen, it would not be the first time he was on the sidelines for an Iranian World Cup match as he was part of the US coaching team during the 1998 World Cup when the US lost to Iran.

So could it really happen? If the results keep coming his way and if the federation continues to have trouble finding a 'Western European' coach, it might. Still, even if it did happen, it might come to nothing as their is a situation concerning the top position in the federation.

Mohammad Aliabadi , one of Iran's Vice-Presidents, wants the top spot in the federation but does not want to give up his position in the government. With FIFA recently suspending Kuwait for government involvement in their FA, it would seem that if Aliabadi got the post, the same thing might happen (again) to Iran. If so, it might kill any hope of reaching the World Cup, thus making the job a lot less interesting.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crazy times. It'll be a struggle for Iran to do well in the world cup anyway, no matter who leads them. Still, it's bizarre. I think with this site here you can bet against a team coming in the top 2 of their group. Worth checking out, for Iran I think.

7:43 AM  

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