Publishe Date: 11:23 PM - 2/7/2014 | Print

Julio Velasco stepping down as Iran volleyball coach

Sport - Coach Julio Velasco plans to leave the Iranian national volleyball team, according to the Iranian Volleyball Federation.

Velasco, who was appointed head coach of the Iranian men's national team in 2011, made the decision after Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner asked him to take the helm of his motherland’s team.

“Velasco has improved Iranian volleyball over the past few years. We agreed with his request to keep our relationship good,” Mohammad-Reza Davarzani said.

“We are going to find a good replacement for him. We cannot disclose the name of our candidate at the moment,” he added.

Under the tutelage of Velasco, Iran made history in the FIVB Men's World League 2013, in which the team defeated giants Italy, Cuba, Serbia, and Germany.

Velasco also led Iran to the title in the Asian Volleyball Championship in 2011 and 2013.

Velasco, whose coaching career spans more three decades, has also coached Italy’s men’s and women’s national volleyball teams as well as the men’s national teams of Spain and the Czech Republic.

Poland coach Andrea Anastasi is a top candidate to replace Velasco, according to media reports.

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