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Tayebi cautions Iran against underestimating Asian rivals

Lisbon: Islamic Republic of Iran star Hossein Tayebi has warned his teammates not to take their opponents lightly as they prepare to defend their title at the AFC Futsal Championship 2020 in November.

Iran are the most successful side in AFC Futsal Championship history, having won 12 of the 15 previous editions of the competition, with three-time champions Japan the only other nation to have lifted the trophy.

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Tayebi, who spent four years with Kazakhstan champions Kairat Almaty before joining Portuguese side S.L. Benfica in early August, said futsal has developed in Asia.

“In the past years, we could defeat Asian teams easily but futsal has developed in Asia in recent years,” said Tayebi.

For this year's edition, Iran are drawn in Group D alongside Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.

“We have to do our best in the competition. Iran want to defend the title since we are the best team in Asia. However, we know that we have a difficult task ahead," Tayebi said.

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