Iranian coach Queiroz slams Korean counterparts remarks
Iran's Portuguese coach on Wednesday fired back at comments made by his South Korean counterpart before next week's crunch Asian zone 2014 World Cup qualifier in Ulsan dubbing them "shameful."
"Choi (Kang-Hee)comments has brought shame to (South) Korean football... he disrespected Iranian footballers and coaches," Carlos Queiroz was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency before leaving for South Korea.
"He is discontent that his team was not treated well in Iran but I should say that we provided them the best facility," he added.
South Korea's coach raised the tempo of an already highly-charged atmosphere ahead of the game with their fellow Asian footballing giants when he promised to "make life painful" for the visitors following a series of grievances.
South Korea suffered problems ranging from visa issues to poor training facilities and dangerous tackles during their trip to Tehran last October, when they lost 1-0 in a bad-tempered clash.
Choi said memories of such treatment were still fresh in the minds of his players, adding they would be seeking revenge as they target an eighth successive World Cup berth.
"Our players all remember the poor treatment they got (in Tehran). I think we must make life painful for Iran," he told reporters after Tuesday's game in Seoul.
Choi was speaking after the 2002 World Cup semi-finalists edged Uzbekistan 1-0 to claim a one-point lead in Group A, ahead of Iran who will make the journey to Ulsan for their final game on Tuesday.
According to local reports, visas for players, coaches and media were cleared only on the day of departure last year, and the team was then given a training ground with a poor pitch.
When they asked for a different venue, the second facility had no floodlights, meaning they could not train in the evenings. The Koreans were also told they could not use the national training centre because it was under construction.
"No athlete should make such comments...We Iranians will respond to them on the field," Iran's football captain Javad Nekounam told ISNA.
"We will beat South Korea and will directly qualify for the World Cup," he added.
Next week South Korea can settle scores by claiming a win which could deny Iran a top-two finish and automatic qualification for their fourth World Cup next year in Brazil.
Uzbekistan, just two points behind Iran and playing already eliminated Qatar at home next week, are also rooting for South Korea as they bid for second spot and the first World Cup berth for any Central Asian country.
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