During a meeting in Istanbul (Turkey) on 4/12, Mehdi Taj Chairman of the Iran Football Association reached an agreement on the termination of the contract with coach Marc Wilmots. FFIRI has no legal obligation to pay compensation to the Belgian strategist. Mr. Wilmots was appointed to lead Iran in mid-May 2019 under a 3-year contract. Previously, coach Carlos Queiroz was the Iranian coach, but left after the AFC Asian Cup 2019 closed.
Under Wilmots, Iran played very well. In the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, they defeated Hong Kong and Cambodia, but lost to Bahrain and Iraq. Those results made “Team Melli”, nicknamed Iran, fell to third on the table, 5 points behind Iraq’s leading team.
A source close to FFIRI said the country’s Football Association is negotiating with coach Branko Ivankovic. In the past, Ivankovic helped “Team Melli” win tickets to the 2006 World Cup. FFIRI is thought to be very serious about re-inviting the 65-year-old coach to lead Iran.
Meanwhile, coach Wilmots can return to Belgium and sit in the chair of Sint-Truidense club. Last month, Belgian media reported that Sint-Truidense had expressed interest in coach Wilmots. The club has not yet appointed a new captain after Marc Brys and his associates were dismissed in late November.
Marc Wilmots is a former member of Belgium’s golden generation along with the famous Enzo Scifo. After splitting his career as a player, Marc Wilmots moved on to a coaching role, and he helped Belgium win Brazil in the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup. Now Wilmots continues his career with Asian football.
Coach Marc Wilmots will lead Iran in place of Carlos Queiroz who just broke up with Iran after the Asian Cup of 2019. The immediate task of Wilmots is to help Iran to be present at the 2022 World Cup finals.