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World Cup Qualifying - AFC

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Carlos Queiroz steps down as Iran coach 'because of pressures'

Carlos Queiroz signed a new contract with Iran in September.

Carlos Queiroz has resigned from his role as Iran coach, saying external pressures had forced him into making the decision.

Queiroz signed a new deal until 2018 in September after his side produced some battling displays in the group stage of last summer's World Cup.

However, according to the Fars news agency, the Portuguese decided to quit after being prevented from selecting Sardar Azmoon and Alireza Jahanbakhsh for Iran's forthcoming friendlies against Sweden and Chile.

The pair were instead...

Nepal official Ganesh Tapa stands down during FIFA financial probe

ZURICH -- FIFA says Nepal's top football official has extended his self-imposed ban while the governing body's ethics committee investigates possible financial wrongdoing.

The 90-day sanction bars All Nepal Football Association president Ganesh Thapa from attending the Asian Football Confederation election congress in Bahrain on April 30.

Thapa has been accused of embezzling $6 million by Nepalese lawmakers and initially recused himself from football for 120 days last November.

He is a member of...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

'World's worst team' Bhutan make history in World Cup qualifier

Bhutan players celebrate after their first-leg win.

Bhutan created history by progressing from their first ever World Cup qualifying tie after defeating Sri Lanka 3-1 on aggregate.

The small Himalayan kingdom, dubbed "the world's worst national team" due to sitting bottom of the FIFA Ranking in 209th, knocked out a nation 35 places above them thanks to a 2-1 first-round second-leg victory, which followed on from last week's 1-0 first-leg win.

Chencho Gyeltshen proved to be the hero on Tuesday, opening the scoring early on and then netting in the...

Pakistan World Cup qualifier vs. Yemen suspended due to safety concerns

ZURICH -- FIFA has postponed Pakistan's World Cup qualifier against Yemen that was scheduled for Tuesday in Lahore because of "safety and security reasons."

On Sunday, 15 people were killed when suicide bombers targeted two churches in a Christian neighborhood of the eastern Pakistan city. The Pakistani Taliban said it carried out the attacks which provoked reprisals.

FIFA says it will announce a new date and neutral venue later for the second-leg match in the first round of Asian qualifying.


 By John Duerden

South Korea's Park Chu-young needs to find his Seoul back home

In four years, South Korean striker Park Chu-young made one Premier League appearance for Arsenal.

One headline in the Seoul media summed it up: "The striker with three goals in two years to return."

Park Chu-young has signed for FC Seoul again.

Back in 2005, he was the biggest story in South Korean football, a 19-year-old nicknamed "The Football Genius." Now, despite the lack of goals, he is still the biggest story, but everything else has changed. At 29, he has more to prove than ever to fans around the world, in his homeland and perhaps even to himself.

Where to start with the story of Park?