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Iran interested in Berti Vogts as national football coach

01/14/99 Deutsche Presse-Agentur Teheran (dpa) - Iran is interested in hiring former German helmsman Berti Vogts as national team coach, the Teheran daily Sobh'e Emruz reported Thursday.

``Vogts is the best option for the national team,'' the daily reported in reference to IFF negotiations with several foreign coaches.

The IFF has so far not raised the issue publicly and according to press reports, talks are held secretly as it was the case with another German, Udo Lattek, last year in Teheran.

Vogts, 51, resigned as German coach after eight years last September. He said recently he had several offers from clubs and national federations and planned to go abroad. Iran 's national team is currently coached by an Iranian , Mansur Purheydari, who is assisted by German Juergen Gehde.

Despite winning the Asian Olympics title last month, Iran 's football team is planning to prepare for the Asian championship in the year 2000 and the 2002 World Cup qualification games.

Iran are admirers of the German football system and has so far failed to attract a first-class coach.

Besides Vogts, another German, Egon Coordes, is under discussion to coach the under-21 or youth national team. Meanwhile, the Teheran press reported that Dariush Yazdani and Ali Mussavi, both from the Teheran club Esteqlal, have signed five-year contracts with Bundesliga top club Bayer Leverkusen.

Another Esteqlal player, Serjik Teymourian, an Iranian Armenian, has signed with second division club Fortuna Cologne.

Iran 's shining star, Mehdi Mahdavikia, is waiting for his German visa to go to Hamburg for holding talks with the northern German team. Mahdavikia was exempted last year from the two-year military service due to his goal against political arch-enemy, the United States, at the World Cup in France.

The number of Iranian players playing in the German Bundesliga has now increased to seven.

In the first division. Ali Daiei is playing for league leaders Bayern Munich and Mehdi Pashazadeh for Bayer Leverkusen. Karim Baqeri and Khodad Azizi play for second division teams Arminia Bielefeld and F.C. Cologne respectively.

Iran dominated Asia's football in the 1970s, but after the 1979 Islamic revolution and the eight-year war against Iraq, there was a 10-year low before another gold at the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing.

The real renaissance occurred last year when the team reached the World Cup in France. They beat the U.S. 2-1, but lost 1-0 to Yugoslavia and 2-0 to Germany. In December, they won another Asian Games title in Bangkok.

Besides the Iranian players in the German Bundesliga, there are also some playing in Belgium and Greece as well as in the leagues of the rich Arab Gulf states.


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