News Roundup from the past week

-Sepahan’s contender; Al Shabab sacked the coach

Humberto Coelho, Al Shabab’s Portuguese coach was sacked only one day after Asian Club Champions League Draw. Al Shabab is drawn into the same group as Sepahan Esfahan. Al Shabab, former Saudi League champions, currently stand in 4th spot in Saudi league table and Saudi team officials were not satisfied with the coach’s performance this season. Saudi team officials have temporarily appointed Abdollatif Hosseini while negotiating with foreign coaches to take over the team as soon as possible before Asian Club Champions League kick offs.

-Dejagah: “I have not made up my mind yet”

In an interview with Ashkan Dejagah, Hertha Berlin’s solid striker, he talks about his open options to play for Iran National team. Ashkan Dejagah was born on July 5, 1986 in Tehran. It has been 5 years since last time he visited Iran. He was first invited to Germany Under 17 National team in year 2000. After 4 years of successive improvement, he joined Germany Under 19 team.

Q: What was your feeling when you were first invited to Germany U-19 to play in U-19 Euro Cup games in Switzerland?
D: A big feeling. I just joined U-19 team at that time. coaches were paying more attention to me as I did not have as much experience.
Q: Did you play in Switzerland?
D: I played in most of the games. I was playing as central midfielder. I did not score any goal but managed to give 4 assists.

The question is between Iran and Germany, which one he chooses to play for now?
About a year ago his choice was Iran. Back then he was saying: “Iran National team has a special meaning for him.” In those days, Branko Ivankovic with mediation of Mahdavikia’s agent, Reza Fazeli, sent a message to Dejagah to join Iranian team in England camp.
“Yes, Mr. Fazeli first talked to my father, then with me. I had doubts whether to play for Iran or for Germany. Everything was set, Dejagah would just had to join Iran team in England to give a test, prior to World Cup 2006. Ashkan says: “I waited, I thought everything is finalized. Iran Federation just had to send a letter to Hertha Berlin, because Hertha Berlin’s agreement was part of the deal. but it never happened.”
Although Branko is sacked but Iran’s new coach, Ghalenoie too likes to invite Dejagah to his side.

Q: There were talks of inviting you to Iran Under 20 team but after passing a technical test!
D: At that time I was with Germany U-21 team in Ireland. I was shocked when I heard the news. I was playing for Hertha Berlin’s B team as a fixed player.I was also a fixed player for Germany U-21 team but had to pass a test in Iran?! My father got really angry and told me to not even answer their offer!

Q: This question is still on table, whether you choice is Iran or Germany?
D: Many people ask me this question. Believe me I have not made up my mind yet. It is a hard decision. Prior to World Cup 2006 I chose Iran but they did not want me.
Q: Do you have a chance to play for Germany National team?
D: Currently in German football, they give priority to younger players. But I do not forget that I am an Iranian. I have to see what happens in the future.

-Maylikohan resigned from Foulad

Mohammad Maylikohan, Foulad head coach, resigned from his position after consecutive league game losses with Foulad. Maylikohan after a 2-1 loss to Bargh submitted his resignation to Foulad board. Foulad under Maylikohan, only managed to win one game and is in danger of relegation to 2nd division with having only 8 points from 12 games. Maylikohan’s assistants including Mohamad Khakpour and Nader Faryadshiran also left the team and were replaced with a temporary technical team consist of Nicolic, Sardarof and Koroush Bakhtiarizadeh. Foulad Club Manager states his rush to appoint a new Iranian coach soon which is rumoured to be Majid Jalali, Pas team’s sacked coach.

-Mahdavikia to play against Iran

According to reports from Iran, Mehdi Mahdavikia will accompany Hamburg SV against Iran National team on Jan 8 in Dubai. HSV will later play Emirate National team on Jan 10th. Hamburg’s Iranian international is currently on his Christmas vacation in Tehran and will join the rest of Hamburg team on Dec 27th in Dubai.

-Iran U-16 Draw

The Draw for Asian U-16 Championship Draw games in 2008 was made and Iran U-16 team is drawn into Group 2 with Bahrain,Kuwait, Jordan and Nepal. Iran U-16 team was previously eliminated by Japan in Quarter Final in Penalty Kicks.

-head of Iran Olympic:”Appointing an Iranian coach is likely”

The head of Iran Olympic Committee stated the possibility of appointing an Iranian coach for Iran Olympic team. Reza Ghoranloo in a question whether Simoes’s contract will be extended or not, stated: “It is not our responsibility to make these decisions as Federations are to follow these cases. My only concern is losing time over this decision. About a year and half ago when we first wanted to appoint a coach and set up Olympic team, we lost so much time.”
About Iran football team’s failure in Doha games he said: “Part of the failure goes back to Simoes’s performance and part of it to Olympic Committee and Physical Education’s team management, in which we did not do well including setting up Friendly Games and also providing a calm environment for the team.”

-Hazfi Cup: Esteghlal Ahvaz, Saipa and Sepahan advance

Hazfi Cup games kicked off in the worst weather conditions throughout the country. Three games have been canceled so far, including Esteghlal vs Moghavemat Basij game due to heavy snow falls in Shiraz. In Noshahr, Shamoshak vs Pas game was canceled due to the poor field conditions. As well as cancellation of Malavan vs Bandar Torkaman game. Considering Shiraz’s poor weather conditions, Fajr Sepasi vs Tarbiyat Yazd game too is expected to be called off on Monday.

Among other games, Saipa continued their winning streak by defeating Zob Ahan Ardebil, while Saipa top scorer and head coach, Ali Daei, decided to remain on the bench. Saipa’s Quarterfinal counterpart is scheduled to be former Hazfi Cup champion, Sepahan Esfahan.
The first surprise of the games took place in Mashhad,where Sanat Naft eliminated AbuMoslem Khorasan at their home.
In other games, Esteghlal Ahvaz defeated Sanaye Arak 3-0 and Zob Ahan Esfahan surprisingly handed the game to Damash Iranian in Penalty kicks.

On Monday, Perspolis, former Hazfi Cup runner-up, will host Kaveh team. However struggling with 6 injured players, Denizli is to line-up a new Perspolis team. Perspolis will be without Bagheri, Hajizadeh, Mamani, Seyed Abbasi, Ashoubi and Fatemi. Also Alvang and Saha are not listed among Perspolis’ list of 18 players.
Perspolis will meet the winner of Esteghlal vs Moghavemat Basij Fars in Quarter Finals, if they win their Monday’s game.