ROUNDUP: Ali Daei reportedly dismissed as Iran national team coach

ROUNDUP: Ali Daei reportedly dismissed as Iran national team coach Tehran  - Ali Daei was dismissed as Iran coach after a 2-1 home defeat against Saudi Arabia in a World Cup qualifier, ISNA news agency reported on Sunday.

Other news agencies also confirmed Daei's dismissal, including official news agency IRNA.

ISNA had earlier Sunday quoted Iranian Football Federation (FFI) president Ali Kafashian as saying that an emergency FFI session was held in this regard.

ISNA reported that one of the probable successors to Daei would be Mohammad Mayelikohan, who trained the national team between 1995 and 1997 and is currently coach of the Saipa Karaj club.

Daei had said he would bring Iran to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but Saturday's defeat to arch-rivals Saudi Arabia left his team with only a small chance for a direct qualification.

Since his appointment in March 2008, the 40-year-old Daei has been under severe criticism for having constantly changed the team's formation without gaining satisfactory results. The only highlight was a 2-1 home win over North Korea.

The Iranian football idol and former Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin striker Daei has also been criticized for his insistence on closing down the national premier league for the sake of friendly matches and training camps abroad. dpa