Cuban snub forces volleyball re-think

Pakistan look towards Iranian coach for Olympics qualifiers.

Natasha Raheel April 17, 2012

KARACHI: Iranian coaches seem to be in demand this side of the border.

A day after the Judo federation confirmed hiring an Iranian, the Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) now has its eyes set on one as well after receiving a cold shoulder from its Cuban counterparts for the Olympics qualifiers.

Cuban snub forced Iranian choice

PVF President Chaudhry Muhammad Yaqoob wrote to the Cuban federation a month ago following the Pakistan Sports Board’s (PSB) green signal but did not receive a favourable response. Iran was, therefore, chosen as the next option not only due to its affordability but also the fact that they are the reigning Asian champions.

“We’re expecting good results and our focus is the qualifiers,” Yaqoob told The Express Tribune. “In the last 10 years, Iran have improved considerably. We badly need a foreign coach because we don’t have a lot of talent and need a professional, qualified coach to groom whatever we have.”

Wildcard handed to promote sport

Pakistan were handed a wildcard by the World Volleyball Federation for the qualifiers that take place in Venice where two out of the eight participating nations will make it to London. Yaqoob explained that the federations had handed these wildcards in order to promote the sport and encourage weaker teams to have a shot.

“We have a very good chance of qualifying for the Olympics. It’ll be the first time that we are even participating in the qualifiers so it’s a huge step for us and we want to utilise this opportunity.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.


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