Hadziabdic backtracks on Iraq job within 24 hours of being in Baghdad

Bosnian head coach Dzemal Hadziabdic pulled off a last minute stunt by deciding against accepting the job of being Iraq’s national team boss after spending one day in the country’s capital, Baghdad.

Fondly known as Jamal Haji, the experienced head coach arrived in Iraq last Friday and was scheduled to sign a contract and meet the press the following day.

But according to a spokesperson from the Iraqi FA, Hadziabdic backtracked on his decision to seal the offer, and requested to be flown back to his country as soon as possible.

“We were surprised Jamal Haji turned down the job and demanded to fly back to his country immediately,” Kamel Zghayr told AFP.

“Everything was going as planned. We had agreed after his arrival that the contract would be formally signed on Sunday and that he would then be presented to the press.”

The governing body of Iraqi football did not waste time as they moved quickly to promote U-23 head coach Yahya Alwan into the senior job, ahead of their World Cup and Asian Cup qualifying campaign.

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