Soccer-Arruabarrena succeeds van Marwijk as UAE coach

Argentinian Rodolfo Arruabarrena has replaced Bert van Marwijk as head coach of the United Arab Emirates, the country’s football federation announced on Sunday. Arruabarrena takes over after the Dutchman was sacked on Saturday with the United Arab Emirates in third place in Group A of the third round of Asian preliminaries for November’s World Cup final with two games to play.

“I am ready to take on this challenge to make history and achieve the goals of the football association,” Arruabarrena said, according to The National, a UAE-based newspaper. “You already know that I don’t like to talk a lot, but to work a lot, with serious work.

“We want to take the chance we have to qualify and make the most of the team’s current situation. Everything is possible in football.” Iran and South Korea have already won the two automatic final places available in Group A, leaving the United Arab Emirates in a battle with Lebanon and Iraq for a place in the playoffs.

The third-place finishers in Asia’s two World Cup preliminary groups will play each other in May or June, with the winners taking on South American opponents for a place in the final in Qatar. The United Arab Emirates currently have nine points from their first eight games and lead fourth-placed Lebanon by three points, with Iraq another point behind.

Arruabarrena, who has signed a contract until the end of the Asian Cup in China next July, previously coached Dubai-based duo Al Wasl and Shabab Al Ahli. He was last employed by Egyptian side Pyramids FC. The 46-year-old’s first game will be against Iraq on March 24, followed five days later by a home encounter with South Korea.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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