Soccer-Queiroz Yet to Sign Iran Deal Despite Federation Announcement-Sources

By Michael Church

 – Former Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz has yet to sign a contract to lead Iran at this year’s World Cup finals, sources told Reuters, despite an announcement by the country’s football federation on Wednesday that he would take the nation to Qatar.

The Sources said that the process to employ the 69-year-old can only advance once the situation regarding current coach Dragan Skocic, who guided Iran to the World Cup finals, has been fully resolved.

Iranian football federation officials had earlier announced that Queiroz, who led Iran at the World Cup in both 2014 and 2018, would coach the team in Qatar, where they are due to face England, Wales and the United States in Group B at the tournament which begins in November.

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“Thanks to Dragan Skocic’s efforts to advance to the World Cup,” Iran national team press officer Jamaat Mohamad said on Twitter.

“Based on the decision of the Football Federation’s Executive Board, Carlos Queiroz will be the head coach of Iran‘s national football team in the Qatar World Cup.”

A source at the Iranian federation had confirmed Queiroz’s appointment to Reuters.

Skocic has won 15 out of 18 games since taking over as Iran coach and successfully guided his team through Asia’s World Cup preliminaries. He was initially removed from his position in July before being reinstated. Read full story

The well-travelled Queiroz, who also served two stints as Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United, was in charge when Iran qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and stayed on in the role to lead the country in Russia four years later.

Iran posted their best performance at the World Cup in 2018, winning against Morocco and drawing with Portugal to miss out narrowly on a place in the knockout rounds.

Queiroz remained in charge until the 2019 Asian Cup finals, where Iran were knocked out of the competition in the semi-finals by Japan.

He resigned from the post soon after and went on to work with the national teams of Colombia and Egypt. He parted company with the Egyptians after failing to qualify for the World Cup.

If Queiroz is appointed it will be his fourth coaching appearance at the World Cup having also led his native Portugal at the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

He also qualified South Africa for the 2002 finals but resigned before the tournament.

(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Christian Radnedge and Toby Davis)

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