The most significant Iranian media outlet, IRNA, set off a direct attack on one of the greatest coaches in the history of volleyball, Julio Velasco.
IRNA (the Islamic Republic News Agency; the official news agency of Iran) revealed that their country’s federation (IRIVF) is in constant contact with the legendary Argentine expert Velasco ever since he left the post in 2014 and has taken advice from him in recent years whenever it was looking for foreign head coaches for either men’s or women’s national teams.
In an extensive post, IRNA criticized IRIVF for such a practice because they considered that Velasco has never cared for Iranian volleyball, that his time on the Iran Men’s NT bench wasn’t successful, and that he only recommended his fellow countrymen or close friends for the Iran Men and Iran Women head coach roles. As per IRNA, Velasco had weaker results than a coach like Slobodan Kovač, even though he’s considered the most influential foreign coach in the history of Iranian volleyball, and he resigned from the command of the Iranian Men’s National Team on the pretext that his own country needed him.
“The last of these consultations (with the Iranian federation) was the introduction of (Alessandra) Campedelli (appointed as the Iran Women head coach in 2021, who resigned last week). He had previously introduced (Raúl) Lozano and (Juan Manuel) Cichello. The common point between these two coaches and Campedelli is the failure of all three. Interestingly, Campedelli was recommended to the Iranian Volleyball Federation due to her friendship bond with Velasco,“ IRNA stressed, and added, “We wish the Iranian Volleyball Federation had come to the conclusion that Velasco doesn’t care about Iranian volleyball, and that there are no compelling reasons for this federation to consider him their trusted advisor.“
What lies behind this attack on a volleyball icon such as Velasco, who’s currently in the position of technical director of the Italian youth men’s national teams, isn’t known to us.
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