Karimi quits coaching career as making FFIRI presidency bid

TEHRAN, Jan. 10 (MNA) – Legendary Iranian footballer Ali Karimi says he is no more interested in the coaching career after he registered to compete in the Iranian Football Federation’s presidential race.

“It has been a while that I have made this decision and my registration in the Federation is the start of my managerial career; given the time period that has passed since my latest coaching, I do not have interest in this career,” Ali Karimi told reporters on Saturday.

He submitted his bid for the presidency of the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) on Friday while announcing another iconic footballer, Mehdi Mahdavikia, as his vice-president.

Karimi, 42, is among the top footballers in the history of Iran as fans gave him the title of ‘magician’ for his unique individual techniques. He had 127 appearances for the Team Melli, scoring 38 goals. He has the experience of coaching Naft Tehran and Sepidrood Rasht.

In an Instagram post last week, he had pointed to his candidacy. “I still seek to stay beside the people of my country and participate in the election as a candidate for the presidency of the football federation,” he wrote.

The Asian Football Federation (AFC) and FIFA have introduced ‘fundamental changes’ in the statutes of the Iranian federation and now footballers can participate in election ‘easier’, he added.

The election will be held on February 28 and four other candidates namely Mansour Ghanbarzadeh, Heidar Baharvand, Shahab Azizi Khadem, and Kiumars Hashemi will also compete for the seat.

MAH/5117942

News Code 168325

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