Clemente starts task of reviving Iran's campaign

The former Spain coach, Javier Clemente, has accepted an offer to coach Iran's national side. The three-times Asian Cup winners have been without a coach since the departure of Amir Ghalenoei after South Korea knocked them out of the Asian Cup in last July's quarter-finals.

The Iran Football Federation had said in January that Clemente had been appointed to the post ahead of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers that started this month, but then Clemente said his decision would depend on a visit to Iran. Clemente was sacked by Serbia in December after failing to steer his team to the Euro 2008 finals.

Iran got their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a disappointing start when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Syria last Wednesday. Iran and Syria contest the all-Middle East Group Five along with the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Clemente managed Spain from 1992 to 1998 and has coached several clubs including Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.

Elsewhere, the Croatia coach, Slaven Bilic, is to stay on after the Euro 2008 finals. The Croatian FA chief, Vlatko Markovic, said: "Bilic is likely to be offered a different salary, but he will remain with us after Euro 2008."

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