Iran to hold onto its four AFC Champions League spots

Iran to hold onto its four AFC Champions League spots
Asian Football Confederation delegation have been impressed by the improvements made by Iran's Pro League clubs during their inspection but there's still work to be done
  • Iran's efforts to meet the criteria required to hold onto all four of its Asian Champions League (ACL) spots have been met with a positive response from Asian Football Confederation (AFC) inspectors.

    The AFC sent out a Special Mission Team (SMT) to inspect Iran's Pro League (IPL) after concerns were raised last year about the competition's facilities, group flow and match attendance counts.

    The issues needed to be improved upon in order to ensure Iran could hold onto its four ACL spots in the future.

    On the final day of the inspection, AFC director of competition and professional football projects Tokuaki Suzuki spoke positively about the improvements made at IPL headquarters on Monday.

    “They made big progress and improvement, which I am delighted about,” said Suzuki.

    “Today, we will discuss how to improve further Iran football and I hope that this meeting will be fruitful to all of us.”

    However, Suzuki acknowledged improvements still need to be made to meet ACL criteria.

    Among the improvements Suzuki said the IPL needed to make were better facilities for media, VIP and fans, better training facilities and pitches, better media services, more active responsibility from clubs and an accreditation card system.

    Suzuki did also point to several positive aspects of Iranian football including a large fan base, strong leadership and progress from the IPL and Iran Football Federation as well as the establishment of a good youth system.

    IPL president Aziz Mohammadi thanked the AFC delegation for their visit.

    “We are very glad that we can hear our weak points from you and we promise that the Iranian clubs and league shall improve based on your suggestions,” said Mohammadi.

    “As you are aware, to Iranian football fans, it is very important to keep or increase the slots in the AFC Champions League and we shall do our best to meet the criteria.”
Jun 1, 2011 15:18


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