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                                        Volume. 12139

Many small-minded people treated me unfairly: Esteghlal coach
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_13-1(115).jpgTEHRAN - Esteghlal coach Amir Ghalenoei has spoken about a variety of subjects, including the Iranian football team, title contenders and Esteghlal. 
 
Under Ghalenoei, Iran was knocked out of the 2007 AFC Asian Cup when the team lost to South Korea 4-2 in a penalty shootout in the quarterfinal round in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia. 
 
“So many small-minded persons criticized me unfairly. When we returned to Iran from the competitions about 300 articles were written against me at the newspapers,” Ghalenoei told reporters during an Esteghlal training session at Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Saturday.  
 
“And critics attacked me in the 12 TV programs. I think, they will never ever treat anybody else as they treated me,” he added. 
 
The Esteghlal football team is at the top of the Iran Professional League (IPL) standings table. The team will play Damash on Monday in its away game. 
 
“We have so many injured players for this match and we are forced to travel to Rasht with 13 or 14 players. Esteghlal has a tough task in the current season since teams including Sepahan, Traktor Sazi, Foolad and even Persepolis could win the title,” he added. 
 
The Iran Football Federation (IFF) was named as the AFC Member Association of the Year on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
 
Speaking about this honor, the 49-year old coach stated that “I congratulate to Iranian football officials but we have to keep progressing, otherwise countries such as Afghanistan will surpass us.” 
 
“In the recent years, the Iranian junior football teams have improved but I think the senior team has not been performing as good as it can,” he concluded. 
 
MH/GJ

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