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Tue 12 Feb 2008 07:24 AM

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Spain's Clemente accepts Iran coach job

Spaniard Javier Clemente has accepted the post of national football coach of Iran.

Spaniard Javier Clemente has accepted the post of national football coach of Iran, officials here said Monday, ending months of uncertainty over who would take charge of one of Asia's heavyweight teams.

"The Spanish coach at 3:00pm (1130GMT) faxed us his signed contract as the Team Melli coach," Iranian Football Federation (FFI) official Mehdi Taj was quoted as saying by the website of state television.

He added that Clemente, in the fax sent to the federation, wrote: "I confirm the acceptance of the position as Iran national team coach."

The report added that Clemente, who was sacked as Serbia coach after failing to lead the team to the Euro 2008 finals, was awarded a contract until the end of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Clemente had been named as the new trainer in January but he did not sign the final contract when he was in Tehran last week amid reported wrangles over his insistence to live outside Iran.

Iran continued its recent poor form by drawing a goalless match against Syria in the World Cup qualifiers last week, resulting in fiery outburst from the Iranian sports papers.

Having watched the Syria game from the stands, former Spain national team coach Clemente had left Iran on Thursday with still no final contract signed.

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