Wolfgang Sidka favourite for Iraq job

After more than a month of discussions by the FA committee, it now looks like former Bahrain coach German Wolfgang Sidka is favourite for the job.

Wolfgang Sidka

The FA (making the whole procedure seem like a Turkish soap opera) has now formed another committee to hold talks with first choice Sidka and the second choice Serbian coach Zoran Djordjevic about taking the job.

Secretary General of the FA, Tariq Ahmed told Aswat Al-Iraq that the new committee would consist of President Hussein Saeed, vice-president Najih Humoud and officials Sabah Mohammed Mustafa and Dr. Kadhim Al-Rubaie.

A deadline had been set for July 1. (Don’t hold your breath)

He added that the FA had held talks with Fatih Terim in Turkey, where the Iraqi youth team is holding a training camp, about the possibility of the former coach of Turkey and AC Milan coaching Iraq however the coach told the Iraqi delegation that he was thinking over a move to a top European club.


FC Twente and Nashat Akram part company

Iraq midfielder Nashat Akram and Dutch champions FC Twente have parted company by mutual consent after only a season with the club, the club announced on Friday.

The player had signed a three year contract last summer just before the 2009 Confederations Cup, however the club and the player have decided to cancel his contract after only one season.

Chairman Joop Munsterman told the club’s website: “We admire the way Nashat has manifested himself last season, but due to a nasty injury, sustained during training camp in La Manga, he has not been able to achieve his sports goals. ”

Nashat Akram

Nashat sustained the hamstring injury only 25 minutes into a friendly with Belgium club Anderlecht that put him out for eight weeks and missed crucial matches in the final months of the season.

Former FC Twente coach Steve McClaren, who left the club to join Bundesliga club Wolfsburg after leading them to their first Eredivisie league title had signed Nashat Akram after monitoring him for two years.

FA close to appointing Serbian coach

FA member Qasim Lazim has reportedly told Radio Sawa and newspaper Al-Sabaah that the Iraqi FA is close to appointing Serbian coach Zoran Djordjevic, formerly coach of Bangladesh and a host of other Gulf clubs.  Dr.Lazim, one of the members on the committee to name a new coach, stressed that they had consulated with former coach Bora Milutinović over appointing his fellow countryman, and added that the new coach would be happy to coach in Iraq.

Zoran Djordjevic

Basim Abbas signs for Turkish club Konyaspor

Iraq left back Basim Abbas signed a two-year deal to play for newly promoted Konyaspor on Friday.

Basim Abbas

Basim, 28, played 19 matches in the Turkcell Süper Lig for relegated Diyarbakırspor last season, but fell out with the club board at the near end of the season over unpaid wages. The player returned to Baghdad and held talks with Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Talaba and Duhok over a move back to the Iraqi league.

A contract worth 40 million Iraqi dinars (approx. $34,230 US) was signed with Duhok last month however the deal was cancelled after the player was unable to get his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) from his old club.

Konyaspor were promoted to the Turkish top flight last month after topping the play-off group that featured Altay, Karşıyaka, and Adanaspor.

Carlos Alberto the next coach of Iraq: Will it be Parreira or Torres?

FA president Hussein Saeed has reportedly stated as widely reported in the local media that Brazilian Carlos Alberto is the clear favourite to land the job to lead the national side at the Gulf Cup in Yemen and the Asian Cup in Doha next year

The former Al-Talaba marksman vying for another term in the Iraq FA hotseat, has been vague on which Carlos Alberto he is really talking about.

He has hinted that it is South Africa’s current coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, one of the most respected coaches in world football, though there has been nothing from the Brazilian to suggest that he would take such a job after the World Cup.

There is the other Carlos Alberto, the 1970 Brazilian World Cup captain, Carlos Alberto Torres, who is the most likely person. The coach, who previously managed Oman and Azerbaijan, was pictured on the front page of the Iraqi sports newspaper Al-Mondial.

As usual, there have been conflicting statements about the naming of a new coach from the FA, something that Hussein Saeed has exploited in the past to keep fans guessing.

According to Hakim Shaker, one of the people on the seven-man committee to name a new coach, told Aswat Al-Iraq on Wednesday that four coaches were on the FA’s final list, they are Serbia coach Radomir Antić, Brazilian Carlos Alberto, Tom Saintfiet from Belgium and former national coach Bora Milutinović, with Serbia’s coach Antić the clear favourite.

One word of caution, don’t expect there to be any truth in any statements made by the current FA until after the elections are held.