Carlos Queiroz (right) with Iran players during the first half of the World Cup game against Bosnia-Hercegovina in Salvador on June 25, 2014
Carlos Queiroz (right) with Iran players during the first half of the World Cup game against Bosnia-Hercegovina in Salvador on June 25, 2014 © Behrouz Mehri - AFP/File
Carlos Queiroz (right) with Iran players during the first half of the World Cup game against  Bosnia-Hercegovina in Salvador on June 25, 2014
AFP
Last updated: December 14, 2014

Iran football squad heads to South Africa camp before Asian Cup

Banner Icon Iran's national team left for South Africa on Sunday where they will train and play three friendly matches ahead of next month's Asian Cup, the football federation announced in Tehran.

Iran's highly-regarded Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz, who despite an ageing side and chaotic preparation almost took his side into the World Cup second round in Brazil, took 21 players on the trip.

His team will take on Tanzania, Guatemala and South Africa during the near-two-week camp, the federation said, before returning to the Iranian capital for another friendly against Palestine on December 28.

The Asian Cup kicks off in Australia on January 9, with Iran playing Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in the group stages.

Queiroz, 61, extended his tenure as coach with a four-year deal after coming back from Brazil.

His team's World Cup preparations were hobbled by cash woes, partly blamed on the economic sanctions imposed on Iran as punishment for pursuing a disputed nuclear programme.

Iran are aiming for a good Asian Cup -- their opener is against Bahrain on January 11 -- with Queiroz's next goal being to secure Iran's place at the next World Cup, in Russia, in 2018.

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