View Full Version : Nader's interview with MK

04-20-2009, 09:57 PM
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Our own Nader jaan, did a nice interview with Mayeli Kohan back in 2006 and right after 2006 World Cup:

You can’t claim to know about Iranian football and not be familiar with the name Mohammad Mayelikohan!
The former Persepolis player, who became the head coach of Iranian national teams on different levels, is one of the most controversial figures in Iranian football.
I knew that Mayelikohan was tough, right down to the point and stubborn.
It was also no mystery that Mayelikohan was detested by many and as one of his most outspoken critics throughout the years, I wanted a chance to talk to him.
The point was to get to know him and there were some very important issues to discuss.
I wanted to reveal the secrecy. I wanted to identify with he adversary!
And it finally happened!
What you are about to read surely shed some light on a number of very crucial subjects in regards to him and without doubt you won’t be able to look at him the same way again!
He certainly changed my view. But, I let you be the judge!

Mr. Mayelikohan, hello, and thanks for accepting my request for an interview

“In the name of God compassionate and merciful”, I also thank you for calling me and I am ready for all your questions.

Congratulations on your head coaching job at Foolad Khuzestan. Would you please explain about your plans for Foolad and briefly explicate about what’s ahead?

As you are also aware, we have taken over the team for few weeks now. The very first week was spent at Ahvaz. We got to know the players in that week. Then we went to Tehran (Karaj), and had a two-week camp over there. In Karaj we worked on basics of physical conditioning and we also went over some technical issues. While in Tehran, Foolad played three light games and were successful in all three. We also played against Persepolis of Tehran. We lost that game 2-1 but it was a great opportunity for us to identify with some of the problems in which we took notes.
Now we are back to Ahvaz again and despite having some very hot climate, we are holding practice sessions twice a day.
The reality is that we (Foolad) have lost some of our experienced players. Some came to the end of their contracts and some were traded. Also this year our budget is only a third of what we used to have and that makes it a bit challenging to work with.
Kaebi, Badavi, Mobali, Kamelimofrad, Sharifinasab, Mirzapour and Lefteh Hamidi are just few names to mention. They are all gone now and the nucleus of this team has changed dramatically.
Now we must work with a younger crew and we have a big challenge ahead of us. I am very hopeful about this team and I believe in them. If we finish within the first 8 teams in IPL this year, we have done a great job. We should not overlook the realities.

I know that Mohammad Khakpour has joined you in Foolad to help out as coach. Please give me your thoughts on him.

As you know, Khakpour was one of the players in the national team when I coached it. I know him real well. He is a gentleman and we have been in touch for so many years now.
It is evident that Mohammad Khakpour has done his homework in the past few years and has not wasted his time at all. I guarantee that in a very near future, he would become one of the best coaches available and I am pleased that he works with me now. Khakpour has a bright prospect ahead of him!

I have some bold questions for you. Not only I like to get to know you myself, also it is very important for the younger generation to know whom Mohammad Mayelikohan is and what he has done. Few years ago they asked Ali Parvin about attending a coaching school. He bluntly replied; I know whatever there is to know about football. Why do I need to attend a class?!
Where does Mohammad Mayelikohan stand on issue of education today?

I received my Bachelors degree in Physical education before the revolution. I can proudly say that I have attended most of the classes that have been held for football in the past few years and I have hardly missed a spot in this regards. As you know I am also an employee of department of physical education, hence I was fortunate to be invited and participate in many classes that were held in Olympic Academy. I have also completed courses in Physical Conditioning, Sports Psychology and Sports Nutrition. I also attained my “A” coaching license few months back and currently I am working rigid to get my Masters degree in Physical education!

Mr. Mayelikohan, I congratulate you for pursuing your education. Very impressive!
Let’s go back to the world cup now. Please elaborate on the national team and Branko.

Few years back when Branko became the coach of Iranian national team, I warned about a general subject. I wanted them to know what it takes to be a good coach. It really does not matter if a coach is Iranian or not. What should count is the ability of that person in leading the way. I believe that if some day we are about to bring a foreign coach for our national team, we must bring the best or not bring anyone at all. They must be able to “add” something to our football. Branko worked hard but he was not knowledgeable enough to “add” anything to our football. In Germany, Branko was just a plain figure on the bench and “other” people operated the team. This is the actuality!

If Mohammad Mayelikohan were on that bench in Germany, what would he do differently to change things around?

First of all, this team was not prepared for he world cup. Not only we did not have good physical preparations, also we did not play tough games to measure the real strength of this team. They relied too much on luck and in world cup hardly ever you can succeed with luck and luck only!
If I were Branko, I would use a younger generation of players in many posts. I am not saying hat I would not use the more experienced players at all, but this team needed to have younger blood and that would have been the driving force behind it.
We made many mistakes and paid for it.

In Friedrichshafen camp in Germany, right under the nose of Mohammad Dadkan we witnessed the presence of agents. Later it was discovered that FIFA had assigned Mr. Fazeli to act as a guide for the team, but in order for FIFA to do this, they had to have an approval from Dadkan first, and in everyone’s shock, he approved of this even though it was a indeed a matter of “conflict of interest”!
After all, Mr. Fazeli officially represented many players in this squad and his presence in the camp was very disturbing!
How would you deal with this issue?

You should know me by now. I respect everyone and I value my promises. But everything has its limits and once I discover that some one has broken the boundaries of my trust, and then I will deal with the situation very differently.
When I was the head coach of the national team, it was the beginning of an era that we began sending players to other countries and therefore we had to deal with their agents. I remember vividly that once Khodadad Azizi’s agent, Mr. Ebrahim Talebi asked to be in the camp and I refused. Khodadad was kind of upset with this decision but I straightforwardly refused to have him around the players. I do not think that it is a common practice for teams to have agents hanging around so intimately with the team. We all must follow a general discipline and people should respect the regulations of the organization.
But look at who the management was in this case!
And my answer is no. I would not allow this to happen!

In minute 65 of Iran vs. Angola, Ali Karimi refused to play for Iran. What would you do in his case?

I think we must go back and see what we have done that Karimi makes such a decision. I am not saying what he did was right, but we must get to the root of things and discover what we did that led to something like this.
We gave so much advantage to certain players that naturally guided us into this mess. All players had to feel “protected”. Unfortunately when you lose the trust of your players, this is what you get.

I am sorry to interrupt you, but are you saying that Karimi was not at fault because of lack of action against “certain” players?

No. As a matter of fact we all should bear responsibility because we have allowed a player like Karimi to getaway with situation in the past as well. It is all like a Domino effect. No doubts that we he had done were not right, but you can’t hold only “one” person responsible for this. We must go back and see what we have done as a group.

So, would you play him or not?

It is a decision that we had to make in Germany. If he was at fault, then we had to either sent him back or bench him permanently for duration of the games. But it does not work that way because we had different parties who contributed in this. Please go back few years and check it out. In front of millions two of our players slapped each other. What decision did we make?
I have played football for many years and I have seen many episodes. Sometimes players get into minor arguments in practices. Sometimes they get into fights with other player (from the opposite team) or even with the refs!
But this was the first time I witnessed anything like this and no one cared to punish them. This was unheard of!
Events like this are like chain reactions. They let them escape punishment then, and we pay for it today. Players think they are invincible and this is where you end up.

So, you think we also had another shameful episode of “Bazikon Salary” in the team?

That’s exactly right.

How much of this problem goes back to Ali Daei?

Well, I really don’t want to get into this issue. Not that I am afraid of anything, it is just that the timing is not right. Ali Daei has recently filed a complaint against me. Of course I always obey the rules and regulations of my country and it’s judicial system and if they find that I am an in any shape or form at fault, then I am ready to pay for my deeds.
It was about a comment that I made during the live broadcast of one of our games from Germany, regardless; I am going to answer your question now. Daei’s presence in the national team was an interesting issue. In best teams around the world if a player is not ready, they are not being used. But in Iran they did not dare to change him and that is not really Daei’s fault. It all goes back to the management and their lack of principle.
If you remember at some point when I was the head coach of the national team and Daei was on top of his game and much younger than today, I removed him from the squad because he was getting too involved in the decision makings and I did not want any of it.
Not in my team!
That’s why I say it was not his fault. The management had to put their foot down and they did not!
That’s the difference between my era and theirs!

I want you to be very honest with me on this question. When Dadkan appointed you to become the head coach of the “Omid” team few years go, was it because of your friendship with him, your political status, or your genuine ability to coach that team?

I am not a political person at all and I do not belong to any political party or a group. Why is there even a doubt about this?

The reason I included that in my question is because I have heard that at some point you have coached a team that belonged to the “Revolutionary Guards” (Sepahe Pasdaran), and the rumor was that they recommended you for this post.

That is not true at all. I have never had a post like that and by no means had any involvement whatsoever. For the past 27 years I have been working for department of physical education and my record is there to show that I am telling you the truth.
My appointment as the head coach of the “Omid” team was purely based on my coaching ability and nothing else.
Please indicate this that in that point of time they “forced” me to accept the responsibility of coaching “Omid” team and I truly did not want to do it because I knew the team was not going to do well and my calculation came through. There was not much of a time to prepare that team and it was clear that we were heading towards disaster!
The forced that job upon me!

What is the key ingredient for our success?

Very good question and I am going to give you the same answer that I gave in the committee of the Experts about a month ago. If we are about to succeed we must first look at the last sixteen teams that made it to the final round in Germany. Let us look closely at their football and football leagues!
They all have a credible football league. As a matter of fact their national team is under direct influence of their league. In Iran this process is the other way around. The league is under influence of the national team!
They do not close their league so one of their influential teams can go play a friendly in another country!
They postponed the start of the league in Iran for a month so we could get on with Pre qualifying games of A.C. 2007?
Look at Germany in comparison. Something like what happened in Iran is almost unheard of in Germany. They have a time frame and they stick with it.
We must act professional. If we make IPL and professional league, then we can expect a professional players and a professional national team to eventually come out of it.
Look at our team in Germany. The only players who truly shined were the ones who came from heart of IPL. Ando Teymourian, Hossein Kaebi, Masood Shojaei are the names to mention. It all rides on success of our own league!
All the countries that succeeded are the ones who pay attention to youth football. Paying attention to “fundamentals” is the key. Give us the fields, equipments, educated coaching staff, and attention, and I promise you that in two years we can become number one force in Asia.
We have got something that others don’t and that is the power of youth and abundance of talents!

I know your time is limited today, but I just wanted to thank you for this interview. Personally, I look at you very differently from here on and I am just glad that I was able to talk to you. Thank you so much!

I also thank you for this interview and please give my regards to all Iranians abroad. I am proud of all you guys!



04-21-2009, 12:53 AM
Nader jan ,
Thanks for the informative interview, He sounded honest and willing to give his 100% for TM to succeed. If anything, I think he can bring some discipline to our Football. However, Iím not going to hold my breath because Iíve been disappointed once too many. I will keep supporting our beloved TEAM MELLI.

04-21-2009, 01:42 AM
Keano jaan, this interview was done in 2006 if my memory is good... Please correct me if I am wrong. Chaakeram.

04-21-2009, 02:16 AM
My bad Essi jaan, I saw this on another forum and before even reading it myself, I shared it here with you folks :D

Regardless after having read the entire interview I found it pretty interesting, especially where MK's hypocrisy reveals itself:

In front of millions two of our players slapped each other. What decision did we make?

This coming off him totally baffles me though. If I am not mistaken Mayeli Kohan slapped a referee during a match in Asian Games back in the 80's, and once he jumped over the fences and attacked fans!