Football: Iranians leave Venables fuming

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Terry Venables claimed yesterday his Australian team have been treated with a lack of respect over the scheduling of their crucial World Cup qualifier play-off first leg against Iran - and the former England coach is also unhappy with the state of the pitch for the match in Tehran on Saturday.

Venables, whose team will not be able to fly into Iran from Dubai on the morning of the match due to a hastily arranged early kick-off, said: "I've been tearing my hair out the last 10 days. It's just unbelievable that we're left in a position where we don't know what's going on. It's a lack of respect, really, to us, leaving us like this."

"The surface is not good," Australia's coach added. "These sort of things are a must at this level of world football. If one thing's got to be right, it's got to be the surface. It's far from right, what they've done to us."