Internal differences in Iran's AC team

Dec 31, 2014 - 12:29 PM The Iranian national football team has arrived in Sydney in the midst of internal differences which have overshadowed the team's prospects at the Asia Cup.

Iranian media reported on Wednesday that the national team's co-trainer, Ali Karimi, refused to join the team travelling to Australia but did not inform Portuguese head coach Carlos Queiroz of his decision.

Reports said that as Karimi had been imposed on Queiroz by the Iranian Football Federation, the Portuguese did not hold any consultations with the former national team captain on his plans in Australia.

"If I cannot serve, then at least I will not betray the team," the former Bayern Munich and Schalke player was quoted by local media as saying. He gave no further details.

Iran, who are top of the Asian Football Confederation's rankings, are tipped as one of the favourites to win the January 9-31 Asia Cup.

At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the Queiroz-led team went out at the group stage after two defeats and a draw.

However after a goalless draw with Nigeria they only narrowly lost 1-0 to World Cup finalists Argentina in Belo Horizonte after a stoppage-time goal from Lionel Messi. They were then beaten 3-1 by Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Iran are playing in Group C in Australia against the three Gulf teams of Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Source: AAP

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