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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 June 2006, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
World Cup swansong for Iran coach
Iran coach Branko Ivankovic
Ivankovic has blamed constant pressure from the media
Iran coach Branko Ivankovic will quit after the World Cup, regardless of how far his team progresses.

Ivankovic, 52, has blamed media pressure as the reason for wanting to end his four-year reign.

He said: "I've faced unrelenting criticism over tactics, choice of players and everything else for over four years.

"Even if we qualify for the next phase the attacks on me will continue. Enough is enough."

Ivankovic arrived in Iran as assistant to Miroslav Blazevic and succeeded his fellow Croat when they failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

He forged Iran into a strong side by blending experienced internationals with talented younger players from the domestic league.

The formula saw Iran took third place in the 2002 Asian Cup, when they lost to hosts China in the semi-final.

SEE ALSO
Iran team guide
22 May 06 |  Iran
Pick your Iran XI
31 May 06 |  Squad selectors
World Cup schedule
25 May 06 |  Schedule
Have your say on the World Cup
28 Apr 06 |  Football
BBC World Cup coverage
27 Apr 06 |  BBC coverage


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