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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

UAE in no hurry to appoint football manager but keep an eye out on Renard and Wilmots

FA prepared to delay decision until after World Cup qualification in Europe, Africa and South America is complete.

Herve Renard, centre, is an appealing candidate  given his recent record at international level in African football. Fadel Senna / AFP
Herve Renard, centre, is an appealing candidate given his recent record at international level in African football. Fadel Senna / AFP

Morocco manager Herve Renard features prominently on the UAE Football Association’s list of potential candidates to take charge of the national team.

The Frenchman, 48, is one of a number of names being considered to replace Edgardo Bauza, who left his role earlier this month to join Saudi Arabia. Appointed in May, the Argentine departed after three competitive matches, a time in which he could not turn around the UAE’s faltering bid to qualify for next summer’s World Cup.

The FA is determined to take its time in finding a successor, though, and is prepared to delay its decision until after World Cup qualification in Europe, Africa and South America is complete.

Marc Wilmots is another target of the UAEFA. Abedin Taherkenareh / EPA
Marc Wilmots is another target of the UAEFA. Abedin Taherkenareh / EPA

That could make a move for Renard more feasible, with Morocco’s campaign concluding on November 6. The North Africans, who last participated in the global finals in 1998, are second in their group, one point behind the Ivory Coast with two matches remaining. The two teams meet in what should be a decisive qualifier on the group's final match day. Intriguingly, the FA is also interested in Ivory Coast manager Marc Wilmots.

Renard appeals given his recent record at international level in African football. A former defender, he guided Zambia to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations before repeating the feat with Ivory Coast two years ago. In doing so, he became the first manager to win the competition with different countries.

Renard was appointed Morocco manager in February last year and in January led a heavily depleted team to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

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The FA is also considering Alberto Zaccheroni, the Italian who masterminded Japan’s 2011 Asian Cup win. Argentine Ricardo Gareca, spearheading Peru’s bid to make the World Cup, and Javier Aguirre, the former Al Wahda manager who has international experience with Mexico and Japan, have been linked as well.

The UAE’s primary objective is success at the next Asian Cup, which takes place on home soil at the beginning of 2019.