Lions coach candidate Vieira hits back at verbal-abuse claims
Prospective Lions coach Jorvan Vieira has hit back at allegations from a Singapore website questioning his suitability for the role.
The former Asian Cup-winning coach confirmed to The New Paper last month that he is one of the six candidates that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) interviewed for the vacant national coach job.
Late last month, The Monitor - a Singaporean site which describes itself as "a current affairs and entertainment blog" - ran a story titled "Is Jorvan Vieira the right man for Singapore?".
In it, they quoted an anonymous official from a regional football association who said Vieira "was known to be verbally abusive in the dressing room and would also use vulgarities on players".
They also quoted another unnamed coach from the region who suggested that Vieira gets too much credit for leading Iraq to their surprise Asian Cup win in 2007, pointing to their silver medal in the Asian Games under a different coach a year earlier.
The coach claimed: "Iraq had a team who were exceptionally motivated then and they were talented.
"I am not convinced that the team won the Asian Cup because of Vieira's work.
"What's important is to see if he has been able to repeat that success."
Brazilian Vieira has since contacted FAS general secretary Yazeen Buhari to rebut the allegations.
Responding to claims that he was "verbally abusive", the 65-year-old told TNP: "I'm very upset by this report.
"I've never done that. It's not my way.
"Wherever I've coached, everyone knows me as a gentleman. I have players who I have worked with since 1982 who still keep in touch with me...
"In our world, sometimes you have to be hard or soft with the players, depending on the situation. To be hard is one thing, to be impolite is another. I don't do that."
Last year, the Asian Football Confederation website listed Vieira as one of its six nominees in its "best ever AFC Asian Cup coach" poll.
On allegations in The Monitor downplaying his role in Iraq's 2007 Asian Cup win, Vieira said: "Tell me which is a bigger tournament, the Asian Games or the Asian Cup?
"No Iraq coach has ever won the Asian Cup besides me.
"My Asian Cup-winning team was different from the previous coach's team.
"I dropped the captain Haytham Khadim and brought in six new players like Ali Abbas and Jassim Ghulam - who were important players in the Asian Cup team."
The FAS is expected to announce the new national coach this month. - DILENJIT SINGH