IRAN continued their continental domination, winning seventh successive Indoor Asia Cup crown by thrashing Kazakhstan 10-1 in the final at the Aspire Dome last week.
Both Iran and Kazakhstan will represent Asia at the Fifth Indoor World Cup in Berlin, Germany, from February 7 to 11 next year.
“We don’t have outdoor facilities hence the sport is played only indoors. That’s why our level is high in Asia as we play throughout the year. In the beginning, the Iran Hockey Federation had hired coaches from Germany and the Netherlands, and that helped,” Iran team manager Hadi Shariati told Doha Stadium Plus.
Iran remained undefeated in the competition and their outstanding performance suggests the sport is being taken very seriously in that country along with wrestling and football.
“We enrol more than 12,000 juniors in our various development programmes during the summer. We’ve a Super League and provincial league. In fact, the indoor version is quite popular,” said Shariati.
Iran topped Group A, which also featured Qatar, Malaysia and Oman, and then hammered Uzbekistan 12-2 in the semifinal.
“We want a podium finish at the World Cup. We came fourth in the last edition. I’m confident we’ll be able to achieve our goal,” he concluded.