TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Carlos Queiroz was rehired as Iran coach on Wednesday to take the national soccer team to its third straight World Cup, where the squad will face the United States, England and Wales.
Queiroz was hired to replace Dragan Skocic, and he will be reunited with Iranian soccer federation president Mehdi Taj, who was re-elected last month.
Queiroz will now go to his fourth World Cup — he coached his native Portugal in 2010, then Iran in 2014 and 2018 — after failing to lead Egypt to this year's tournament.
Iran is the second World Cup team to fire the coach who achieved qualification for the tournament in Qatar. Morocco removed Vahid Halilhodžić last month.
Two more World Cup coaches, Ghana’s Otto Addo and Tunisia’s Jalen Kadri, got their jobs only this year. Both were appointed weeks ahead of winning in the African playoffs.
Iran has never advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup. The team's first match this year will be on Nov. 21 — the second day of the tournament — against England, where Queiroz worked for several years. He had two spells at Manchester United as assistant to Alex Ferguson, and between those coached Real Madrid in the 2003-4 season.
Quieroz’s first preparation games with Iran will be friendlies against Uruguay on Sept. 23 in Austria and Senegal four days later.
The federation is also reportedly in talks with playing Russia in a warm-up game in November. Although FIFA and UEFA have banned Russian teams from international competitions because of the war in Ukraine, the national team can seek permission to play friendly games.
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The Associated Press