Dragan Skocic officially pens Iran contract

TEHRAN – Dragan Skocic has officially penned his contract with the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) on Monday.

Skocic, 51, has replaced Marc Wilmots who left Team Melli in early December.

Skocic’s first task is to book a place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification third round, where a total of 12 teams will be divided into two groups of six teams.

The first two teams in each group will qualify for the World Cup. The two third-placed teams proceed to the fourth round.

Skocic, who has already worked in Iranian clubs Malavana and Foolad, is Iran’s fifth Croat coach after Stanko Poklepovic, Tomislav Ivic, Miroslav Blazevic and Branko Ivankovic.

Team Melli will have four must-win matches in late March and early June in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

Iran will entertain Hong Kong on March 26 in Tehran and meet Cambodia five days later in an away match.

The Persians will face Bahrain and Iraq on June 4 and 9, respectively in Tehran.

Iran, who are going to continue their quest for a sixth World Cup appearance, sit five points behind leaders Iraq in Group C but having played one game fewer.