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Iran to play UAE in football friendly

Iran, Islamic Republic Of,Sports, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 IANS

Tehran, April 5 (IANS) Iran's national football team will play a friendly match against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in preparation for the final stage of Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup to be held in Brazil.


The team has been grouped with South Korea, Uzbekistan, Lebanon and Qatar in the Asian qualifiers.


Iran will face stiff competition from South Korea for the top spot in Group A. The two teams have met 25 times, with nine wins each and seven draws.


Iran was originally scheduled to play Nigeria but the match was cancelled and Iranian officials have since reached an agreement with the UAE to play a friendly, Xinhua reported.


According to the report, Iran is also optimistic about playing a warm-up match against Japan.


"The Iranian officials and their Japanese counterparts have reached a verbal agreement but the Japanese have not officially announced their readiness. Iran wanted to play Japan at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran," director of the International Relations Committee of Iran's Football Federation, Omid Jamali, was quoted as saying.


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