Ivankovic rules out link with Team Melli

TEHRAN, Jun. 19 (MNA) – Croatian coach Branko Ivankovic has rejected reports of his link with Iran to take charge of Team Melli.

The Iranian national football team advanced to the next stage of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers as Group C winner last week in Manama while the team had only gained 6 points in the first leg of the event under the helm of Marc Wilmots. Iran’s poor run, though, changed with the presence of Dragan Skocic as the team gained four consecutive wins in the qualifiers.

The promising performance made experts call on the Iranian Football Federation to extend Skocic’s contract which expired after the second round of qualifiers. However, Shahaboddin Azizi Khadem said that the extension will depend on the viewpoint of the federation’s board of directors. The remarks have raised speculations around the reluctance of the federation for continuing work with Skocic and meanwhile, rumors are circulating about the return of Branko Ivankovic or Carlos Queiroz to Iran.

Speaking to Mehr News Agency, Ivankovic said he has no offer from Iran and does not even think about it.  

“I have a contract with Oman Football Federation. I have a duty to make this team successful according to the goals with the help of all team members. What is clear is that I am committed to my contract as a professional coach.”

Asked about his countryman’s performance in Team Melli in the past months, Branko said described Skocic’s run as ‘shining’. “He managed to attain best results for Team Melli’s qualification to the next round.” Skocic’s performance has been ‘unique’, former Persepolis and Team Melli coach added.

MAH/5237265

News Code 174999

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