Champion of Asian Games was an aim for Iran volleyball in 2014; After2010 Asian Games Volleyball of Iran started its Missile growth and achieved it. The legendary Velasco was a key point in leading Iran to a higher lever but there came time when he had to leave. Today we give answers to the questions ‘Why?’ and ‘How? ‘. 

This report is written by young journalist Mojtaba Zakizadeh, I have translated it. I have done some changes, additions and omissions on it.  

Rahim Rahimzadeh

( we both are ISJ and AIPS members)




Beloved Velasco went and Kovac came

After the progress of Iran team, and following the continental championship,  there were some rumors spread about possible separation of Velasco and Iran’s volleyball. Then one day the president of Argentina volleyball Federation after achieving bad results by national team of Argentina upon persistence of the President of the state and nation of Argentina asked president of Iran Volleyball federation to release Velasco for returning to his motherland .

Following the publication of this news the Iranian started to establish campaigns in the social pages in defense of Velasco and this had had high reflection in websites and authentic mass media all around the globe. Then the other day it appeared in the news that Velasco has great tendency for departing from Iran. He was under shadow of surge demands from his compatriots and president of Argentina. And love towards home land gradually was growing strong inside him. It was the main reason of breaking away from Iran volleyball. Human being by getting aged has eagerness towards his homeland. For more than 30 years Velasco was away from home, he was feeling that this is the right time to pay his duty to his homeland. If he had delayed, Argentina volleyball federation would have appointed another coach and Velasco would have lost gold chance for serving to his nation. However, Velasco never mentioned this by his own words.  On the other hand, Dr. Davarzani- President of Iran Volleyball Federation was to this belief, that despite the fact that the term of Velasco’s contract has not yet finished and he has obligation for continuing his work, keeping him by force will not bring internal self-feeling in him towards his work, so his work would not be effective and positive as before.  The volleyball federation of Iran said, separation was achieved mutually and Velasco is going to be the new head coach of Argentina.

After separation with Julio Velasco president of Iran Volleyball federation attempted to find a substation to Velasco. There were 8 major names on the spot- Andrea Anastazi, Silvano Prandi, Lorenzo Bernardi, Hugh McCutcheon, Raul Lozano, Daniel Castellani, Valdimir Alekno and Slobodan Kovac for coaching of Iran team. At last, Slobodan Kovac was chosen as the head coach of senior men’s team of Iran volleyball.

Why Kovac was elected?

Some years ago Kovac played for 2 seasons in  the team of Urmia in the Super league of Iran. As a coach, he was coaching thePerugia teamin Italy’s Serie A before coming to Iran. And recently his team got second place in Italy elimination cup. Recently he went to Italy for taking his cup and said: It is very joyful feeling. Last year we (I in my final presence on the bench or Perugia of Italy with this team) have  achieved the runner up rank of Serie A and also a vice- champion of Italy elimination cup. At the end of season I came to Iran for coaching the senior men’s national team. Victories came one after another and it all is so pleasant to me. Of course this makes my work harder since I should get better each day and have better function than before.”

In March 2014 Kovac signed a 3 years contract with Iranian volleyball federation and formally became head coach of Iran. But coming of young coach and so called bomb of motivation was not without fringe talks. As ever again some were criticizing that he is too young and is lacking big team’s experience. At that moment many asked why another coach was not chosen? Perhaps now is the good and proper time to answer those people: one of the candidates gave a proposal to Iran but the amount listed was very high. Others also had some conditions for work. Standard working conditions were taken to account by president of Iran volleyball federation, as well he was well aware of the position of Iran volleyball- the  team was at the top of Asia and but there is still place for improvement, so he does not want to work with any coach for any price and he had several selections. For this decisive and important selection he did not want to go under pressure of mass media and public opinion.

Do not forget- next Monday we continue with the fairytale of Iranian volleyball.