Ali Karimi out for good, says Daei

October 13, 2008

TEHRAN -- Iran football coach Ali Daei said on Sunday that Ali Karimi, who has rejected a recent call up to the national team, will never be invited to the team again.

“I knew that Karimi would not come to the national team but invited him to show that I have no problem with anybody. Each player has to dedicate himself to serve his motherland. If I were Karimi I would never have rejected this invitation,” Ali Daei said in a news conference held in Iran’s Football Federation building on Sunday.
“I think we are wasting time talking about Karimi prior to a must-win game against North Korea. We have qualified for the 2010 World Cup qualification final round with young players and we will be able to advance in the competitions with the same players,” the former Iran striker added.
Asked why he refused to accept a recommendation from the Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad about inviting Karimi to the team, Daei answered, “I talked to the President and convinced him that Karimi was not on course then. I told him the player would be called up to the team when he was ready.”