Pim Verbeek says future is bright for Oman despite Iran defeat

It was not to be for Oman who lost 2-0 to Iran in the UAE. (AFP)
Updated 21 January 2019

Pim Verbeek says future is bright for Oman despite Iran defeat

LONDON: Pim Verbeek revealed he is optimistic about the future of Oman football despite the side’s exit from the Asian Cup at the hands of Iran.
The Gulf Cup champions impressed in the group stage by making it through to the knockout stages — largely thanks to a 3-1 win over Turkmenistan that allowed them to sneak into the second round as one of the best-placed third-place teams.
But a 2-0 defeat to a very impressive Iran side ended any hopes Oman had of a fairytale run to the later stages in the UAE.
Verbeek, however, admitted they had been beaten by the better side and that despite the defeat the future remains bright for Oman.
“We knew that Iran were the number one side in Asia and that they were stronger than us, so we did everything that was possible to get a result,” the Dutch coach said.
“We gave at least one unlucky goal away and I am not talking about the penalty which we missed early on.
“In the second half, we tried everything to score a goal and come back from 2-0 down, but Iran kept us under control. We are disappointed of course that we lost, but Iran were the better team.
“We had a fantastic tournament and we should not be ashamed that we lost to a team such as Iran. The team has a future as, even though we are a small country, we have talent.”


Turkey defends footballers saluting soldiers

Updated 15 October 2019

Turkey defends footballers saluting soldiers

  • Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu described the controversial goal celebration — in which players were seen as supporting Turkey’s military operation in Syria — as a nice salute
  • France drew 1-1 with Turkey in the Euro 2020 qualifier amid mounting tensions after Paris condemned Turkey’s military operation against Kurdish militants in Syria

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s sports minister voiced support on Tuesday for national team players who saluted the country’s soldiers during their Euro 2020 match with France.
Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu described the controversial goal celebration — in which players were seen as supporting Turkey’s current military operation in Syria — as a “nice salute.”
France drew 1-1 with Turkey in the Euro 2020 qualifier amid mounting tensions after Paris condemned Turkey’s military operation against Kurdish militants in Syria.
European football’s ruling body UEFA had already said it would “examine” a military salute given by Turkish players during an earlier match against Albania.
But the sports minister said the controversy was unwarranted, and pointed to the fact that French star Antoine Griezmann had also given a military salute to President Emmanuel Macron in June.
“Those who remained quiet about Griezmann’s military salute are trying to distort our national footballers’ nice salute,” Kasapoglu said in a televised press conference, holding up a picture of Griezmann’s salute.
He said critics were trying to distract from Turkey’s success in staying top of the qualifying group.
“Those who are trying to block out their failure on the pitch should give up on their efforts. The result is clear,” Kasapoglu said.
Kasapoglu also warned UEFA to be “prudent” in its investigation of the salutes.
Turkey’s operation against Kurdish militants in Syria, launched a week ago, has been widely criticized by the international community but has drawn widespread support at home.