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Europa League round of 16 draw

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By ESPN Staff

Sidka to lead Iraq

The Iraq Football Association has announced that terms have been agreed with Wolfgang Sidka to coach the reigning AFC Asian Cup holders.

Sidka, a 65-year-old German, has extensive experience in the region, having coached Bahrain's national team in 2000 before moving three years later to neighbouring Qatar to manage Al Arabi. Sidka returned to the Bahrain helm in 2004 and also coached in Qatar again during the 2006-07 season when he took charge of Al Gharafa.

Iraq national team committee member Basel Mahdi confirmed that Sidka will take up the post in August.

"Sidka will start working with the national team next month after the end of the league," he said. "He will return to Baghdad where he will officially sign a one-year contract with the FA."

Sidka is looking to restore Iraq to former glories following a difficult period in the aftermath of their continental triumph.

"I have plenty of information about Iraqi players," Sidka said. "I also received a good image about football in Iraq and its impressive positive role in the region.

"My first target will be to prepare a strong team before playing in the forthcoming WAFF Championship in Jordan and then the Gulf Cup before defending the title at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar."

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