Iran coach hopes Asian Cup win will unite country

Iran coach Afshin Ghotbi says his team wants to win the Asian
Cup title so it will be ”a source of inspiration” for the divided
Persian nation.

Iran defeated Iraq in its opening Group D match and will play
North Korea on Saturday.

Ghotbi compared Iran’s ambition at this year’s continental
championship to Iraq’s win in 2007. Sectarian violence had raged
across Iraq but the soccer victory united Iraqis in
celebration.

Ghotbi says his players are ”very, very motivated” by the
challenge to do the same for Iran.

Iran has been in political turmoil since the opposition
crackdown following the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad in 2009.