Ivankovic named new na­tional foot­ball coach

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE - Ashok Puro­hit @ashok­mus­cat

Ex­pe­ri­enced Croa­t­ian Branko Ivankovic was named the new Oman foot­ball team coach on Sun­day.

The Oman Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (OFA) board con­firmed the ap­point­ment of the Croa­t­ian, who signed a two-year deal to man­age the Red War­riors.

Mus­cat Daily had re­ported on Sun­day that Ivankovic was likely to take over as the man­ager.

Ivankovic, 65, suc­ceeds Dutch­man Er­win Koe­man, who was sacked last month fol­low­ing the na­tional team’s early exit at the 24th Ara­bian Gulf Cup in Qatar.

A re­spected coach, Ivankovic led Iran to the 2006 World Cup and earned lots of plau­dits dur­ing his stint with the top Ira­nian club Perse­po­lis, which he led to three Iran Pro­fes­sional League ti­tles.

Speak­ing to Mus­cat Daily, Said Oth­man al Balushi, the OFA chief ex­ec­u­tive and gen­eral sec­re­tary, said, “The board ap­proved Branko Ivankovic for a two-year term. He will be­gin work with the na­tional team from next Mon­day and has been asked to choose his sup­port staff, which we will con­firm once he sub­mits the list.”

The Croa­t­ian’s main task will be to lead Oman in the joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Oman is cur­rently placed sec­ond in Group E, a point be­hind Asian cham­pion Qatar, who have 13 points, af­ter five games.

Oman’s next game is on road with a match against Afghanista­n on March 31. They then host Qatar on June 4 be­fore wrap­ping up their cam­paign against Bangladesh on June 9 in Dhaka.

Branko Ivankovic

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