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Maradona up for Iraq coaching job

Soccer

Cairo – Football legend Diego Maradona is a candidate for the vacant Iraq national team coaching job but no deal is done so far, Iraq's Alsumaria News website on Friday quoted a federation official as saying.

“Major coaching names, including Maradona, have applied for leading the team. But the federation has not yet decide on a certain name,” federation member Yehia Zagheer was quoted as saying.

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FILE - DECEMBER 21, 2012: Diego Maradona is in line to become the new manager of Iraq. CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 03: Diego Maradona head coach of Argentina looks thoughtful on the touchline during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Quarter Final match between Argentina and Germany at Green Point Stadium on July 3, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The statement came after an agent of Maradona's management company World Eleven, Hernan Tofoni, told the website canchallena.com on Thursday that “We received the offer (to coach Iraq) and contacted Diego, who accepted it.”

A decision on the new coach was said to be expected later Friday or on the weekend.

Maradona, 52, who is also manager of the football federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Dubai, has reportedly already negotiated how he can balance both jobs.

Iraq aim to reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The team currently ranks third in its qualifying group of five teams, with the top two advancing directly to the World Cup.

Maradona's last coaching job was at Al Wasl in the United Arab Emirates. He was sacked as Argentina national coach after they exited the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in the quarter-finals.

Former Brazil star Zico resigned as Iraq coach last month, saying the country's federation has failed to abide by the terms of his contract. – Sapa-dpa

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