Tehran Times - Iran U23 football team coach Mehdi Mahdavikia says that they are ready for the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup qualification but their main goal is booking a place in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Iran will kick off the qualification on Monday against Nepal.
“We are well-prepared for the competition and hope to show a good performance but our main goal is to book a place in the Paris 2024,” Mahdavikia said.
“The Tajikistan’s match can help us to prepare for the Olympics. We want to participate at the Olympics after 48 years with a long-term plan,” he added.
“Our main opponent in Dushanbe is Tajikistan but we respect Nepal and Lebanon as well. There is no an easy team in football. We have not invited our foreign based players for this competition,” the former Iran winger went on to say.
The 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup qualification is being held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan from Oct. 23 to 31. Iran are pitted against host Tajikistan, Nepal and Lebanon in Group B.
A total of 16 teams will qualify to play in the final tournament, including Uzbekistan as hosts.