Tehran Times - Qatar football team, headed by Felix Sanchez, lifted the AFC Asian Cup for the first time in their history, and the triumph was a far cry from everyone’s expectation.
The Qataris won the title after scoring 19 goals and conceding just one, and it showed that they were not just the best attacking team, but a team with best defensive style.
But the question is how a small country like Qatar blossoms so much in football?
The answer is clear, a cohesive program. And it’s time for the Iranian football officials to learn from their small neighbors.
Undoubtedly, Qatar is faced with a big problem for finding native footballers. For instance, their newest national hero Almoez Ali was not born in Qatar, but it was not an issue for them. On the contrary, Iran has the advantage of having million talented players but there is no a systematic program for grassroot football.
Iran must restructure the country’s football and the federation should take grassroot football into consideration as Qatar did and won.
The Iranian federation should also hire a coach with a very precise job description, because Quieroz, who was not assigned a blueprint of his duties from day one, went beyond his authority to lead his team.
The Portuguese instructor, the longest serving Iranian coach, had to concentrate on his job ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, but he preferred to publish provocative statements on his Instagram account against an Iranian football club and his critics. Queiroz called his critics “crocodile.”
Sanchez is not worried about the prospect of losing his job in spite of the fact that the Qataris are going to sign a new head coach for the 2022 World Cup.
However, Queiroz seemed to be apprehensive about losing his job after he found out that Persepolis coach Branko Ivankovic could be his potential replacement.
Sanchez concentrated on his job and made the Qatar football proud. Now it is time for him to reap the fruit of labor, for what he has done with a small country among the Asian giants. The Qatari team beat Asian powerhouses Saudi Arabia, Iraq, South Korea, the UAE and Japan which made their championship more valuable.
Iran must change several players for the upcoming tournament, a decision that should’ve been made by ongoing coach Queiroz.
The next Team Melli coach would have to compete against time as he needs more of it to rebuild a new team. This is while the core of Qatar football team is still very young and this team can compete with the best teams at the 2022 World Cup.