Omantribune – MUSCAT, The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has come in for severe critisicm from Iran coach who wasted no time in taking a dig at the scheduling of the U-22 Championship.
“I think it is not appropriate to have just one day between games because the body (of a player) does not recover in time,” said an aggrieved Hooman Afazeli.
“And when they do not recover you give the opportunity for players to get injured, or you can say you make them injury prone,” added the Iranian coach.
“We need a minimum of two days between games. I know a lot of money is involved, there are expenses, but I think the first priority of AFC should be the health of the players,” he confided.
The coach went on to add: “I think AFC needs to reconsider their plans. These players are young and if something happens then first of all there are clubs involved, secondly the players are at the beginning of their careers so we need to take care of them and I think it is not the appropriate way to go about it.
“If Asia, as a whole, wants to move forward to be in a position to compete with some of the top nations, like Europe and South America, the first thing is planning.”
Afazeli also felt the calendar suited the Eastern part of Asia the most. “The calendar at the moment in Asia is very well organised for the East part of Asia, but it is not good for the West. The reason being the Western part of Asia follows the European calendar but the East follow a different calendar.”
The Iranian coach bemoaned the fact that he lost around 17 players as they were not released by their respective clubs. “The clubs pay millions of dollars for the players. They want to win championships so it’s normal that they have the right to release them (players) only for Fifa dates so we couldn’t do anything.
“I’ve literally come here with a ‘B’ side, but I would not like to say that they are not as good as the others but definitely we miss a few experienced players.”
When asked about his team’s chances in the tournament he went by the cliche ‘in football anything is possible’.