Iran cancels soccer training camp in South Africa

Tehran, Jan 31: The Iranian national soccer team’s training camp in South Africa had to be cancelled as key players would not be able to participate, a media report said Thursday.

The training camp was scheduled to open April 11 in the African country, but “the training camp has been cancellled since our key players cannot participate in the camp. More than four players are playing in the Arab leagues,” Xinhua quoted the team’s Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz as saying in Tehran Times.

“I met Mr. (Ali) Kaffashian (the president of the Iran Football Federation) and was forced to revise our arrangements. There is no reason to hold a training camp without your key players,” he said.

The former Real Madrid coach then complained about lack of financial support.

“Over the past 32 months, that I’ve been here as Iran football coach, I always tried to do my best and keep the team fully prepared. I sometimes even worked without pay, but you are not able to keep going without your key players,” the Portuguese said.

“I have to call my friends (Sir Alex) Ferguson, (Jose) Mourinho, and (Fabio) Capello to get their advice for better decisions because I am not magician to do without financial support,” he added.

The Iran Footfall Federation already cancelled a training camp supposed to be held in Portugal in September due to fund shortage.

In the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Iran is in Group F along with Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Nigeria.

IANS