Tag: Winfred Schaefer

Farhad Majidi appointed as head coach of Omid Team

After a long and desperate search for a replacement for Zlatko Kranjcar, the FFIRI has finally selected Farhad Majidi as the head coach

The Iranian Football Federation was hoping to appoint a competent replacement to lead the Omid Team after ending the contract of the Croatian head coach Zlatko Krancjar. In the past few months, various options have been considered to coach the U23 team, from Amir Ghalanoei, Alireza Mansourian , Mehdi MahdaviKia, Javad Nekounam to  Hossein Faraki. But all of these coaches refused to accept the offer.

The federation was on the brink of singing Yahya GolMohammadi, but his club did not allow him to leave, as he was still under contract with Padidah. Mehdi Taj and Hamid Estili, the technical manager of Omid, eventually negotiated with Farhad Majidi, who was out of work, to be the new head coach. Estili confirmed the selection of Majidi in a statement to the media. The team must start preparation for the final rounds of AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 which is also the qualifying round of the Olympics Games Men football competition as well as being the U23 Asian Championship. The final rounds will be played in a tournament style in Bangkok, Ciang Mai, Pathum Thani and Songkhala.

Farhad Majidi is the least experienced of all the other candidates who turned the job down. He has only a few games under his arm as a head coach of Esteghlal after he was given the temporary post at the club following the departure of the German coach Schaefer.

Thus the football federation continues its tendency to appoint raw and unproven coaches for the Omid U23 team and hoping to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Iran U23 qualified as one of the second best teams after hosting the qualifiers in Tehran and finishing second to Iraq in the group.

The tournament will start in January 2020 with 4 groups consisting of 4 teams. The first two of each group qualify for the quarter finals. Asia has 3 spots in the Olympic Games.  

The Draw

The 16 teams are drawn into four groups of four teams. The teams are seeded according to their performance in the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship final tournament and qualification, with the hosts Thailand automatically seeded and assigned to Position A1 in the draw.

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
1.    Thailand(hosts)

2.    Uzbekistan

3.    Vietnam

4.    Qatar

5.    South Korea

6.    Iraq

7.    Japan

8.    North Korea

9.    China PR

10. Australia

11. Jordan

12. Saudi Arabia

13. Syria

14. Iran

15. United Arab Emirates

16. Bahrain

Zlatko Krancjar ” I left Iran because of sanctions”

The former head of the Iran Omid  (U23) team believes the sanctions imposed on Iran were the reason for his departure from the team, something that has caused other Iranian teams to face difficulties.

The Croatian coach Zlatko Krancjar ended his partnership with Iran’s Omid team and is now back in his own country, according to ISNA. The coach who held several coaching posts in Iran including leading Persepolis and Sepahan in Iranian football league, in discussion about his departure from the Iran team said “I could not continue to work in Iran because of the sanctions. Everything is determined by money, and because of sanctions, Iran’s sport, especially football, is in suffering severely.”

“The administration of the national teams at all age group levels is dependent on the on the government and the state of which it is willing to support, so it is not possible to improve the situation,” he continued. “In any case, I have been in Iran for 6 years and I thoroughly enjoy that period and enjoyed Iran. In Sepahan, I was able to win two trophies. In the Omid team of Iran, I also got good results in the Olympic qualifiers were we qualified for the finals. I’d better rest now.  Also notice that , Winfred Schaefer also left Iran. Branco Ivankovic , who has won three championships in a row and has been in the AFC Champions League final, is facing some financial problems.”