Monday, June 16, 2014 2:05 pm
Abuja – The Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Saeed Koozechi, says African and Asian teams are capable of winning the World Cup in Brazil.
Koozechi made the prediction in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, few hours before the Group F opening match between Nigeria and Iran.
He said: “It is possible for African and Asian teams to win the world cup although there is not a high-chance.
“In the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by South Korea and Japan, South Korea was in the last four and it is possible for teams from Africa and Asia to repeat that same feat,” the ambassador said.
Koozechi, however, said it would be difficult to predict the outcome of the game between Nigeria and Iran.
He also conceded that the Super Eagles had an edge over the Iranian national team because of the international experience of Nigerian players.
“I hope to see a good football match, Insha Allah, but it is difficult for me to say what will be the result.
“Many Nigerian players are playing in important European league and for Iranians we have just five or six players.”
The ambassador said many Iranians already in Abuja for the 5th session of the Nigeria-Iran Joint Commission meeting would have the privilege of watching the game at a viewing centre at the embassy.
He said sports, especially football, could be used to create friendly and closer relations between Iran and Nigeria.
Koozechi said that sports could also be used to boost cultural, social and political relationship between the two countries.
The ambassador called for the strengthening of sports relationship between Iran and Nigeria, particularly in the area of wrestling.
“Iran is highly ranked in wresting in the world,” he said, adding that the countries could also cooperate in volleyball, weightlifting, taekwondo and judo.