Reports: Queiroz could be back for Iran before World Cup

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Carlos Queiroz could be set for a dramatic return to take charge of Iran’s national team less than three months before the World Cup and Group B games with the United States, England and Wales.

The former Real Madrid manager led Iran at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. According to reports in Tehran’s media on Monday, Queiroz could replace Dragan Skocic by the end of the week.

Skocic has been head coach since early 2020 but his position has been in doubt since Aug. 30, when Mehdi Taj was voted back in as president of the Iranian Football Federation.

Taj, who worked with Queiroz from 2016-19, said in a television interview that he’d seriously consider bringing the Portuguese tactician back if elected.

After leading Iran through World Cup qualification, Skocic was dismissed on July 11 but was reinstated six days later.

Queiroz has been available since April after failing to take Egypt’s national team to the World Cup. Egypt also lost the final of the African Nations Cup in January.

Iran continues its preparations for the World Cup with friendlies against Uruguay on Sept. 23 in Austria and Senegal four days later.

Iran, which has never progressed to the knockout stage of the World Cup, kicks off the 2022 tournament against England on Nov. 21, plays Wales four days later and finishes the group stage against the U.S. team on Nov. 29.


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