Romanian soccer's governing body (FRF) has requested the Al Ain club to release coach Anghel Iordanescu so he can take charge of the Romanian national team from January.

FRF president Mircea Sandu said yesterday the federation had drafted a letter to the club after agreeing terms with Iordanescu, who coached Romania when they reached the 1994 World Cup quarter-finals.

"We're sending a letter to request Al Ain club to release Iordanescu," Sandu said.

"FIFA (world soccer's governing body) warned the FRF not to sign the contract with Iordanescu without having Al Ain's agreement."

Iordanescu, 52, broke a previous contract with the Greek national team in 1999, for which he had to pay compensation. His contract with Al Ain, second in the United Arab Emirates championship, expires next May.

The Romania job was vacated last month by Gheorghe Hagi, who resigned after six months following the side's failure to qualify for next year's World Cup finals.

At a press conference in Al Ain, Iordanescu had stated that he has a running contract with Al Ain and he respected it.

The Romanian coach spoke to the media after the match between Al Nasr and Al Ain played on December 5.

"As I have said, I have my contract with Al Ain and I respect this contract," Iordanescu stated. "I can't prevent people from Romania from speaking to me. I love the Al Ain team, with whom I am working, and I respect the players."