West Asia UAE

UAE set to appoint new national team head coach

Colombian Reinaldo Rueda is moving close to the UAE national team head coach and if contract negotiations go as planned, his appointment could be announced within the next week.

The former Colombia, Honduras and Ecuador manager has emerged as the UAE Football Association’s primary target. It is reported that Rueda has been offered a two-year deal to fill the vacancy.

His potential contract would last until after the 2019 Asian Cup in UAE, which will take place from 5 January to 2 February.

Rueda enjoys two successful years with Atletico Nacional in his homeland and is now ready to return to international management.

The 60-year-old Colombian will succeed Mahdi Ali, who stepped down after UAE’s 2-0 defeat against Australia in the 2018 World Cup qualifier last month.

With three matches remaining in the final stage of qualification for Russia next year, the UAE sit fourth in Group B, seven points off the automatic qualification spots.

A third-placed finish offers a route via a series of play-offs, but the UAE still have work to do as they are currently four points back from Australia in third.

The UAE resume their bid to reach the World Cup on 13 June, when they face the already eliminated Thailand in Bangkok.