The Iraqi Minister of Youth and Sports, Adnan Darjal, stated that Slovenian coach Streshko Katanic’s relationship with the national team has ended and has become part of the past, stressing at the same time that a road map has been urgently drawn up to choose a new coach to lead the team in the decisive round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Dargal said: The issue of coach Katanic has become a thing of the past, and we must focus on an urgent roadmap to choose the right coach for the national team to lead him in the decisive qualifying qualifiers, and after the Prime Minister pledged to provide funds, things will go to effective solutions, to win the upcoming benefits.
The draw for the decisive round of the Asian qualifiers leading to the 2022 World Cup placed the Iraqi team in Group A along with South Korea, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Syria and Lebanon. The Iraqi national team will start its campaign in the decisive round of the qualifiers against its South Korean guest on the second of next September.
In August 2018, the Iraqi Football Association contracted Katanic for three years, provided that the contract will be reviewed after each year from the date of signing the contract form between the two parties, which will reach its end next month.
The relationship of the temporary administration of the Iraqi Federation with Katanic (56 years old) witnessed tension after the end of the last round of the preliminary round of the qualifiers, in which the Iraqi team lost to its Iranian counterpart with a clean goal, as the coach faced widespread criticism due to the loss and the weak level, which the Rafidain Lions team appeared in.
Katanic, who left for his country immediately after that match, commented on his situation by saying: We are going through a difficult period and facing difficult conditions.
And Iraqi media reported that Katanic had filed a complaint with the International Football Association Board, because he had not received his salary for six months. The statement of the Iraqi Ministry of Youth and Sports did not clarify the way in which the financial and legal obligations will be settled with the Slovenian coach.