Coach quits after triumph

Iranian-American football manager Afshin Qotbi quit as coach of Iranian side Persepolis, just a week after guiding the club to the league title in his first year back in Iran, club officials said on Friday.

Qotbi, who returned to Iran last year after spending much of his life in the United States, is set to leave the country in the next few days with his South Korean wife.

"After talking it over with his family, Qotbi officially told us that he does not want to remain in Iran any longer and to work with Persepolis," said Habib Kashani.

"The reson for Qotbi's departure, according to him, is special family circumstances and has nothing to do with financial differences."

Qotbi took Persepolis, traditionally one of Tehran's top two clubs, to its first league title in six years despite being docked six points mid-season on a technicality.

The team clinched the title on the last day of the season on 17 May with a thrilling 2-1 win over rivals Sepahan.

During his one year in charge, Qotbi endeared himself to Iranian football fans with his tactical thinking, smart dressing and animated comments to the media.

Qotbi, born in Tehran, attended university in the United States and won an engineering degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

He later worked with the US national team and football academy before working with Guus Hiddink when the Dutchman was coach of Korea Republic. Qotbi has also worked with LA Galaxy and South Korean club sides.