Diego Maradona is on the verge of becoming the coach of Iraq and wants to take the country to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, according to one of the Argentinian’s representatives.
Maradona, who is acting as a consultant for the UAE club Al Wasl, is awaiting the outcome of a meeting of the Iraqi Football Federation to be held on Friday to discuss his candidacy. “Diego is really enthused and phones us every day. He doesn’t just want to coach (Iraq) for the next six months, but long-term,” said Hernán Tofoni, who is heading up talks with Iraq.
“He is excited by the fact that it’s a challenge and that he’d be going to replace Zico,” added Tofoni, referring to the former Brazil forward who quit as Iraq’s coach last month.
Tofoni said he put Maradona’s name on the table when Iraq approached his company, World Eleven, looking for an Argentinian coach and “they liked the idea”.
Iraq have played at one World Cup finals, in 1986 in Mexico, where Maradona led Argentina to their second title.
The Middle Eastern nation are third in Group B in the fourth round of Asian World Cup qualifiers. Japan lead with 13 points from five matches, while Iraq are equal on five points with second-placed Australia, who have a match in hand, and Oman.