Bora Milutinovic says he will coach Iraq
BRUSSELS -- Well-traveled soccer coach Bora Milutinovic says he has another job -- coach of Iraq's national team.
The Serbian is taking charge of his eighth national team and will coach Iraq at this year's Confederations Cup in South Africa, a tuneup for the 2010 World Cup.
"I've been offered a deal to take Iraq to the Confederations Cup and I agreed," Milutinovic told The Associated Press by telephone from Doha, Qatar.
In Baghdad, Iraqi soccer federation official Tareq Ahmed declined to confirm the hiring, saying the coaching decision has not yet been completed.
Jorvan Vieira, a Brazilian coach who led Iraq to the Asian Cup title in 2007, was fired in February following the team's disappointing play at the Gulf Cup. Radhi Shunashi temporarily took over the team's training.
Milutinovic has coached five nations at the World Cup, including the United States in 1994. The others were Mexico, Costa Rica, Nigeria and China. He last coached Jamaica but was let go in 2007 in a contract dispute. He also coached Honduras.
Milutinovic said he would be returning to Mexico before starting work with Iraq. He did not say whether that would be in Iraq or a neighboring country. Milutinovic lives in Mexico with his wife and daughter. He remains popular in China, which he took to its first World Cup.
Milutinovic led host Mexico to the quarterfinals at the 1986 World Cup. He took Costa Rica to the second round in 1990, then did the same with the host United States in 1994 and Nigeria in 1998. At the 2002 World Cup, China was eliminated in the first round.
At the eight-team Confederations Cup, Iraq is grouped with host South Africa, Spain and New Zealand. The U.S., Brazil, Italy and Egypt are in the other group.