Tough task ahead of Iran to qualify for World Cup: Dragan Skocic

June 23, 2020 - 14:41

TEHRAN – National football team head coach Dragan Skocic says that they will have a difficult task ahead to advance to the 2022 World Cup but Iran have the potential to make it happen.

In an interview with live television program Football Bartar, the Croatian coach also talked about how he was appointed as Iran national football team head coach.

Skocic took the reins at Iran in February after parting company with Iranian top flight team Sanat Naft.

“I was forced to quit my job as Sanat Naft coach because of skin sensitivity and one day after I stepped down from my role in Abadan, the officials of Iran football federation called me and offered to lead the National Team,” Skocic said.

Iran are third in Group C, five points behind Iraq and must have to win their four matches to qualify for the 2022 World Cup qualification next stage.

“I know that the work ahead of us will be difficult, but our goal is clear. I am sure we have the potential to book a place at the 2022 World Cup. We want to make the Iranian people happy,” he added.

Skocic was widely criticized for being appointed as Iran coach since the Croat had said he would not work in Iran due to skin sensitivity.

“Honestly, I was hospitalized at hospital several times in Abadan but I feel pretty good about the city,” Skocic said.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), in consultation with FIFA, has announced the proposed match dates for the remaining matches of Round 2 in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers after the competitions were canceled due to coronavirus. 

Matchdays 7 and 8 are now scheduled to take place on October 8 and 13, respectively while Matchdays 9 and 10 are due to kick off on November 12 and 17.

“We have a short time to prepare for the matches,” Skocic said. “We will invite the players who are well-prepared and the door is open for all players. We will monitor the league and the best players have the chance to be called up to the national team. It doesn't matter which team or league the players are playing,” Skocic concluded.

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