May 27, 2024
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1,851 views – TEHRAN, After months of speculation following the sacking of Marc Wilmots, Iran’s football federation finally announced Dragan Skokic as new headcoach of Iran.

The Croat, who, other than his predecessors, accepted to be paid in Iranian currency, will first helm Iran until the end of the current round of World Cup qualifying, in which Team Melli will need to win all four matches to certainly qualify for the final round of qualifying.

Should Skocic achieve that, his contract will automatically extended until the end of the next phase, and then again until the end of the 2023, should he qualify Iran to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Former Team Melli and Bundesliga striker Vahid Hashemian will stay as assistant coach.

51-year-old Dragan Skocic successfully started his career in Croatia and Slovenia, where he made himself a name with winning three Cup titles with lower rated teams. After switching to the Persian Gulf, he again reached two Cup finals with Kuwaiti club Al Arabi.

Following less successful stints with Saudi Arabian giants Al Nassr and Rijeka, Skocic came to Iran, achieving good results with Malavan Anzali, Foolad Khuzestan and Sanat Naft in Iran’s Persian Gulf League.

He again contributed to his image as Cup hero, when he led second league side Khooneh be Khooneh to Iran’s Hafzi Cup final in 2018.

Skocic’s first match as Team Melli coach will be the World Cup qualifier against Hong Kong at home on March 26, followed by a game in Cambodia in the same competition, five days later.