World-Karimi may be dropped for disciplinary reasons

Updated: June 20, 2006, 12:16 PM ET
Reuters

By Iain Rogers

LEIPZIG, June 20 - Iran playmaker Ali Karimi may be dropped for their final World Cup group game with Angola for disciplinary reasons, coach Branko Ivankovic said on Tuesday.

"He (Karimi) made a disciplinary mistake which we will need to discuss after the World Cup when we get back to Iran," Ivankovic told a news conference.

"There is a question as to whether he will start or not. It is my decision."

The Bayern Munich midfielder kicked the team's sports bags by the dugout after being substituted in the 65th minute during Iran's 2-0 defeat against Portugal in Group D on Saturday.

"He was not satisfied with his substitution, as so many others are of course," Ivankovic said, adding that he had not yet decided the final lineup for Wednesday's match.

Iran cannot qualify for the second round but want a victory, not least so they can be remembered for their football and not just the political controversy that overshadowed their campaign.

Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had left open whether he would visit the World Cup, has faced criticism across Europe in the past for inflammatory remarks about Israel and statements questioning whether the Holocaust happened.

Some 1,000 people, including Israel supporters and exiled Iranians, demonstrated in Nuremberg in connection with Iran's opening World Cup match with Mexico on June 11 which they lost 3-1.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index