Iran playmaker in disciplinary mistake

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:34 IST

Iran playmaker Ali Karimi made one kick too many after being replaced in the second half of the match against Portugal.

Leipzig:

Iran playmaker Ali Karimi made one kick too many after being replaced in the second half of the match against Portugal. Now he's likely to sit out the team's final World Cup match because of his "disciplinary mistake." "He was not satisfied with his substitution against Portugal," coach Branko Ivankovic said Tuesday after the team's final practice session ahead of Wednesday's game against Angola. Ivankovic has been under severe pressure from the Iranian media to keep Karimi, who plays for Bayern Munich, on the team despite his disappointing performances in the losses to Mexico and Portugal. Injury Karimi injured his ankle in a Bundesliga match in early March, and has just recently recovered enough to start training. But the lack of practice showed, leaving the consummate dribbler - known as the Maradona of Asia - without the speed or stamina needed to face up to serious opponents. "He's been feeling frustrated and so he started taking it out on his colleagues,'' Ivankovic said. Last week, Karimi brutally fouled defender Mehrzad Madanchi - who replaced Karimi after an hour of lackluster play in the match with Mexico - during a practice match. Several players reacted to the incident by yanking Karimi's shirt because of his reckless play. Mandanchi recovered and the incident was soon forgotten. But during Saturday's match with Portugal, when Ivankovic replaced a clearly frustrated Karimi in the 65th minute with Kaiserslautern's Ferydoon Zandi, the Bayern player walked past the bench and kicked the team medical bag, which was nearby. "For this he is not in the starting lineup and it is questionable whether he will play at all," Ivankovic said. (AP)

Topics : Football
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