Former UAE coach Dick Advocaat to take charge of Iraq for World Cup qualifiers

'It's a challenge. I'm looking forward to it' says 73-year-old Dutch manager

Veteran coach Dick Advocaat will take charge of a seventh national team after being unveiled as the new coach of Iraq, the country’s football association has announced.

It comes just months after the 73-year-old said he was retiring from the game, leaving Dutch club Feyenoord at the end of last season, but he said it was too good an offer to turn down.

“When this opportunity came, I wanted to seize it. We're going to participate in the World Cup qualifiers, that’s something worth participating in,” he told Dutch media.

“It's a nice challenge. I will be busy eight days a month, otherwise I'm in the Netherlands. And people immediately think of money, but countries like this don't have that much money. I’m not doing it for that. It's a challenge. I'm looking forward to it.”

Iraq finished second behind neighbours Iran in Group C of the Asian qualifiers last month to advance to a second group phase, where they are in a six-team group with Iran again, Lebanon, South Korea, Syria and the United Arab Emirates. The top two teams qualify for the World Cup in Qatar next year.

Advocaat starts in September away at South Korea - one of his former charges - before a home match against Iran, likely played in Doha, Qatar.

Advocaat has been the Dutch coach three times and also taken charge of the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Belgium, Russia and Serbia.

Updated: August 1st 2021, 10:12 AM