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Report: Maradona top candidate to coach Iraq national team

Associated Press

12/20/2012 7:10:29 PM

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- An Argentine football official says Diego Maradona is a leading candidate to take over as coach of Iraq's national team.

Hernan Tofoni was quoted by Argentina's state-run news agency Telam as saying the leadership of the Iraq football association was expected to meet Friday and complete an offer to Maradona.

Tofoni told Telam that Iraq had wanted to hire an Argentine coach and Maradona's name surfaced as a candidate.

Tofoni is the general manager of World Eleven, which organizes international friendly matches for Argentina's national team. He confirmed on Twitter that the Iraqi federation was dealing with World Eleven over the possibility of signing Maradona.

The Buenos Aires daily La Nacion also reported that Maradona was near signing,

The Iraqi federation could not immediately be reached for comment by The Associated Press.

Maradona was fired in July as the coach of Dubai club Al Wasl despite having a year left on his contract.

The Argentine great was dismissed as Argentina's national coach following the team's elimination in the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. His time in charge split public opinion in Argentina with criticism of his tactical decisions, offset by the respect he commands for his achievements as a player.