By Farrokh Hesabi

Iran volleyball need to rekindle fans’ interest: coach

September 21, 2021 - 13:17

TEHRAN - Former Iran volleyball coach Naser Shahnazi says that Iran needed to win the Asian title to maintain the interest of their supporters.

Iran retained their Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship title with a 3-0 (27-25, 25-22, 31-29) win over Japan in the final at Chiba Port Arena on Sunday.

Shahnazi, who has been the head coach of the Iran B team for a while and the assistant coach of the Argentinian head coach Julio Velasco in the Iran national team, shared his opinion with Tehran Times.

“Following poor results in the 2021 Nations League and also the 2020 Olympic Games, there was a negative atmosphere among the Iranian volleyball fans and experts. They were comparing the current situation with the past,” Shahnazi said.

“This made the 2021 Asian Championship more crucial for us to get good results. In a normal situation, the continental games are not that important for us because Iran’s level of volleyball has been much higher than the level of Asian competitions in the recent years.

“However, this time, we needed to win the trophy to make Iranian people reconcile with the national volleyball team again. I’m thrilled that Behrouz Ataei’s men could win the title and congratulate all the players and coaching staff and also the volleyball fans,” he added.

The head coach of Saipa volleyball team cautioned the national team staff about future events.

“We must not forget that this success was at the Asian Games and not in a world-class tournament. I’ve always said that a significant problem for us is that we exaggerate our victories and our failures in competitions as well,” he added.

“Positive results are important because they help the team’s developing process. But there is no reason to be ultra optimistic. Let’s stay calm. The fans also need to be balanced in understanding that the team are experiencing a process and need time to be better,” said the volleyball expert.

Defending champions Iran won the title for the fourth time. Iran and Japan will represent Asia at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship in Russia.

“We are the 10th team in FIVB World Ranking; it means that Iran are a great team. So, We have to start planning for the next three years and the next Olympics right now,” he emphasized.

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