FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournament 2012 | Japan

Press release

We deserve to be in the Olympics: Iran captain

Coach of Iran Julio Velasco explained their win against Japan at the last press conference in the Men´s Olympic Qualification Tournament 2012

Iran captain Alireza Nadi: We were able to perform in this atmosphere and showed we were able to win in three sets and also show that we deserved to be in the Olympic Games in London. We want to show that Asian teams should be in the Olympics. Australia is in the Olympics but they are not part of Asia. Today, Japan played well but we were better and we never lost confidence.

Iran No. 10 Amir Ghafour: Today was just about playing for our country, for ourselves, our staff and our coaches who work hard for us and whom we appreciate. We showed that we deserve to be in the Olympics, but we had bad luck and couldn’t qualify. Coach Velasco told us before the game that if we want to think about the next Olympics we had to start today, so we showed that we have started today.

Iran coach Julio Velasco: First I want to congratulate Serbia and Australia for qualifying for the Olympics, and I want to congratulate Japan for the organisation of this tournament. And I want to congratulate my players because it was not easy to play this match. We were sad because we didn’t qualify for the Olympics and Japan were sad for the same reason, so we had to play for pride, for our federation, for our work. I asked the players not to be upset. I told them that playing in this atmosphere in Japan with its history of volleyball, we have to enjoy it and that’s what they did. We did very well with our tactics, especially with our serve and block. We used our serve in a tactical way – not only with power – and we changed the block for the important attackers of Japan. And our defence played better in counterattack than Japan. I told my players they shouldn’t complain. This is a group that can grow up and I hope next time we can qualify for the Olympic Games.

Japan captain Daisuke Usami: It was difficult to be motivated because Australia had qualified for the Olympics and we lost 3-0, and mentally it’s quite sad. We have young players in the Japan team and I want them to go to the next Olympics. 

Japan No. 14 Tatsuya Fukuzawa: Before the match, we already knew that we couldn’t go to the Olympics and we had to find some motivation. The Japanese supporters cheered us up, but we lost so that’s not good. In such a difficult situation if we could have been more motivated maybe we could have qualified for the Games. 

Japan No. 13 Kunihiro Shimizu: I wanted to win but we couldn’t and it’s because we didn’t have the power to win the game, so I regret that. 

Japan coach Tatsuya Ueta: Today was difficult because we knew we couldn’t go to the Olympics, but my players played really well. It was my responsibility that we couldn’t win today, but I think our players did their best. The result is not what I expected and I’m sorry about that. The biggest reason we couldn’t win was about getting the first point. Our motivation was low, but it was the same for Iran, so I’m sorry about that. We have improved mentally, physically and tactically over four years, but today was my responsibility, not the players. 

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