Ivan Jovanovic, the new UAE coach.
Ivan Jovanovic, the new UAE coach. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Serbian Ivan Jovanovic has been named as coach for the UAE national football team, replacing Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk, the UAE Football Association have announced.

Jovanovic will take charge as the UAE are preparing for the ongoing Asian Qualifiers for the Fifa World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023.

The UAE will take on Malaysia at home on March 26 before playing Indonesia away five days later.

They will conclude their campaign against Thailand and Vietnam on June 4 and 9 respectively.

Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Transitional Committee of the UAE FA, said that The national team is among the first priorities of the committee, because the goal is to compete and qualify for the decisive stage of the qualifiers and reach the World Cup 2022, stressing his confidence in the ability of the players to get the results.

Sheikh Rashid assured that the selection of the coach came after a series of continuous meetings of the national teams’ and Technical Affairs Committee that considered a number of potential candidates.

“A choice was made on Ivan Jovanovic due to the distinctive characteristics of his biography that fit the criteria set,” said Sheikh Rashid. “The most important of which is his ambition and full knowledge of Emirati football.

“The current stage [of World Cup qualifying] requires the concerted efforts of all sporting bodies, institutions, clubs, media and audiences in order to provide an appropriate environment for the national team to perform its tasks in the best way. This stage requires working with the spirit of one team in order to achieve positive results in regional, continental and international forums.”