Ataei takes charge of volleyball team, announces squad

TEHRAN, Aug. 10 (MNA) – Behrouz Ataei has been named Iran’s national volleyball team’s head coach in the upcoming continental championship.

According to a decision by the Iranian Volleyball Federation, Behruz Ataei, who also leads the Iranian U21 team, will manage the senior team in the 2021 Asian Men's Volleyball Championship.

The change came as Russian coach Vladimir Alekno failed to meet the expectations with the team after poor results in the 2020 Olympics.

The Federation’s decision, however, had drawn criticism from experts as they say it may affect the results of the U21 team that has to play in the 2021 World Champions days after the end of the Asian event.

Meanwhile, Ataei has announced a 15-man team for the Asian event. Veteran players such as Saeid Maroud, Amir Ghafour, and Mohammad Mousavi are absent in the list while younger players have been invited.

The team is comprised of Milad Ebadipour, Meysam Salehi, Amirhossein Esfandiar, Esmaeil Mosafer, Javad Karimi, Ali Ramezani, Aliasghar Mojarad, Reza Abedini, Amirhossein Toukhteh, Mehdi Jelveh, Saber Kazemi, Bardia Saadat, Mohammadreza Hazratpour, Abolfazl Gholipour, and Amin Esmaeilnejhad.

Only five players who were in Tokyo Olympics – Ebadipour, Salehi, Karimi, Mojarad, and Kazemi – can be seen in the new list.

The continental championship will be held in Chiba and Funabashi, Japan from Sept. 12 to 19. Iran, the reigning champion, have to play Thailand, Pakistan, and Hong Kong in Pool B.

The top two teams of the tournament will qualify for the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship as the AVC representatives.

MAH/ 5277667

News Code 177179

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