Iran’s football team not to underestimate its rivals: IFF president

Tehran, April 15, IRNA – Iran Football Federation President Ali Kafashian said that Iran’s national football team will not underestimate its rivals and would remain as Asia’s top football team.

Football Coach Ebrahim Ghasempour said in an interview with IRNA that it will be an easy task for Iran to win the four teams at home and away.

Retired Iranian football player Bijan Zolfagharnasab advised the Iranian team and its coaches to use the FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign as an opportunity to prepare themselves for the next difficult stages.

He said with the help of Head Coach Carlos Queiroz as an experienced coach, Iran can appear in the finals of the FIFA World Cup for the fifth time.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup hopefuls in Asia learned their fate on Tuesday when the draw for the second round draw of continental qualifiers was held in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Some 40 teams were placed in eight groups of five teams each for the FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, the-afc.com wrote.

The eight groups draws are as follows:

Group A: The UAE , Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Timor-Leste and Malaysia

Group B: Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh

Group C: China, Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan and Hong Kong

Group D: Iran, Oman, India, Turkmenistan and Guam

Group E: Japan, Syria, Afghanistan, Singapore and Cambodia

Group F: Iraq ,Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan

Group G: South Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar and Laos

Group H: Uzbekistan, Bahrain, the Philippines. North Korea and Yemen

The teams will compete according to a double round robin format, and the Round 2 qualification matches will be held from June 11, 2015 to March 29, 2016.

The group winners and four best runners-up (totally 12 teams) will advance to the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

By IRNA