• Kyodo


Former Japan manager Zico announced his resignation as Iraq manager Tuesday while the team is still taking part in the qualifying round for the 2014 World Cup, citing a “breach” by the country’s soccer federation.

Zico, who coached Japan to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, wrote in Portuguese on his website that he had communicated his intent with both FIFA and Iraq’s federation.

“I consider my contract terminated due to a breach by the IFA,” he wrote, saying he would clarify his comments later.

The Brazilian legend starred for Kashima Antlers in the early days of the J. League. He had coached Iraq since last year and despite playing all of their home games outside of their strife-torn nation due to security concerns, the Lions of Mesopotamia are third in Group B with one win and two draws from five games.

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