Team Melli’s link with Stramaccioni; a sales pitch?

TEHRAN, Apr. 29 (MNA) – Italian media outlets reported talks between Iranian Football Federation and ex-Esteghlal head coach Andrea Stramaccioni for taking charge of Team Melli.

The Italian media’s reports came as the Iranian Football Federation has already signed an agreement with Croatian Dragan Skocic for the sit after Belgian Marc Wilmots stepped down after six months in charge.

The federation was then under immense pressure to appoint a quality coach since the team was seeing four must-win games in a few months. And on the other hand, lack of enough financial resources, due to the US sanctions against Iran, hampered the federation’s capability to negotiate with top coaches. There were rumors of choosing an Iranian coach for the hot seat but eventually, the position was offered to Skocic who had achieved good results with Sanat Naft club in IPL and had a good understanding of Iranian football.

As the coronavirus hit the world, all the sporting events were affected, including the 2022 World Cup Qualifications where the Iranian team was supposed to play. Iran sits third in Group C and needs to win all four remaining games against Cambodia, Hong Kong, Bahrain, and Iraq to ensure a safe entry into the next level of qualifications. Had the officials in the federation knew in advance that such an outbreak would happen, they would have probably waited a bit longer to appoint the coach.

The appointment has received both praise and criticism from the Iranian football society. Some say that Skocic is not experienced enough for a national team as he has never guided one. However, some believe that he was the best choice with regard to circumstances.

Stramaccioni (left) greeting with Calderon 

After the postponement of Asian football events, there have come reports about foreign coaches being linked with Team Melli. In early April, reports were circulating about the federation talks with former Persepolis coach Gabriel Calderon. And now, Italian media suggest Italian Stramaccioni as a replacement for Skocic.

Some believe that the reports are being sponsored by the very same coaches as a form of a sales pitch. “Reporting on proposals for foreign coach’s who have experienced Iranian football and the wide covering of the issue in foreign media has been turned into a weapon in the hands of coaches and media outlets close to them,” reads a report by Persian sports service of Mehr News Agency.

The report indicates that foreign coaches are probably using their media teams for a ‘sales pitch’ so that they can find a new team.

All in all, the Iranian federation has strongly rejected both links and has noted that Skocic will remain as the team’s boss, the public opinion seems to be ready for a new replacement.

News Code 158169

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    • Iranian Expat AU 03:03 - 2020/04/30
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      Our team can achieve better results if those who know nothing about football stop meddling in Football.