Dec 14 (Reuters) – Dutchman Bert van Marwijk is to return as head coach of the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf state’s football association said on Monday, a year after he was sacked from the job.
The UAE FA tweeted that an agreement had been reached with the 68-year-old to return to the post ahead of the resumption of the country’s bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.
Van Marwijk, who led the Netherlands to the World Cup final in South Africa in 2010, had been in charge of the UAE for 260 days before being fired after a 4-2 loss to Qatar during the Gulf Cup last December.
Serbia’s Ivan Jovanovic was brought in to replace the Dutchman but left in April without having taken charge of a game as the COVID-19 pandemic brought football to a halt.
Colombian Jorge Luis Pinto departed the role after disappointing performances in friendlies.
Van Marwijk previously steered Saudi Arabia to the finals of the 2018 World Cup, only to leave the role prior to the tournament after his contract expired. He then coached Australia at the finals in Russia on a short-term deal.
During his initial stint in the UAE, the side lost World Cup preliminaries to Thailand and Vietnam and he will be hoping for better results when qualifying for Qatar 2022 resumes next year.
(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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