The AFC Special Mission Team (SMT) to Iran has made several recommendations to help the clubs and Iranian Premier League meet the criteria to qualify for the next edition of the AFC Champions League tournament.
Speaking at press conference at the National Team Training Centre here on Monday, AFC Competitions and Professional Football Project Director Tokuaki Suzuki made the following observation and recommendations:
- Significant improvements observed, but still clubs needs to improve their facilities for the media, VVIP and fans.
- Clubs need to improve their training site facilities including pitches.
- More active role and responsibility of clubs required, especially for match organisation, fan service and ticket sales. Clubs need to think about sponsors, spectators, media and all stakeholders.
- Better media services required. Clubs should be able to provide a better working condition for and data to the media.
- Accreditation card system required. By introducing this system, the clubs should improve security and safety matters on match days.
During the press conference, Suzuki also made known of his observation of the following strengths in Iranian clubs:
- Popularity of football in Iran and a great fan base.
- Strong leadership in Iran Football Federation and Iranian Premier League (IPL). Outstanding efforts and progress have been made and this leadership should be transferred to the clubs who have a great passion and commitment to the development of football in Iran
- The establishment of a good youth system by most of the clubs. All clubs will have their own Technical Directors who will oversee the youth development systems and programmes.
Meanwhile, the President of the IPL, Aziz Mohammadi, promised to take the assessment results and recommendations to the clubs so that they can make further improvements to their facilities, administration and match organisation.
“There are still a couple of things that we have to improve. By resolving the weak points, I hope we can get the four or more slots in AFC Champions League,” he said.
Mohammadi thanked Suzuki and his delegates for completing the challenging Special Mission Team’s inspections in Iran.
“I understand that they have worked 24 hours during their inspections, which will help raise the standard of Iranian football and its professionalism,” he added