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May 16, 2019

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Iran moves for Wilmots

Former Ivory Coast and Belgium manager Marc Wilmots has arrived in Tehran and is set to sign a three-year deal as national coach, state news agency IRNA reported.

The official agency said Iran football federation president Mehdi Taj had confirmed the deal and the former Belgium striker will sign a contract later. It said the 50-year-old, who was capped 70 times for his country, was expected to sign on until the end of the 2022 World Cup for a fee of US$1.2 million a year.

He replaces Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz who stepped down after eight years in charge in January following Iran’s semifinal exit in the Asian Cup — 0-3 to Japan.

He led Iran to two World Cup finals and extended his contract to 2019 after the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Wilmots guided Belgium into the 2014 World Cup during his stint as coach between 2012-2016. He took charge of Ivory Coast in 2017 but parted company after failing to qualify the west Africans for the 2018 World Cup.

Meanwhile, former Croatia coach Igor Stimac was named India manager yesterday, replacing Englishman Stephen Constantine who quit following the Asian Cup exit.

A former defender who won 53 caps, Stimac was in charge of Croatia during qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.


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