Iraq and Sidka part company

The Iraq Football Association (IFA) will not renew the contract of national team boss Wolfgang Sidka when it expires in two weeks.The 57-year-old former Werder Bremen manager had been in charge of the 2007 Asian champions for the past 12 months and last week guided Iraq into the third round of 2014 World Cup qualifiers after a 2-0 aggregate victory over Yemen.

“We decided not to renew the contract of the coach after the poor results although we qualified for the third round of the World Cup,” IFA vice-president Abdulkhaleq Masoud told reporters.

The Lions of Mesopotamia had been unconvincing in getting past Yemen (ranked 135th in the world), with the second leg ending in a 0-0 draw.

Sidka had led Iraq at the 2011 Asian Cup where they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Australia in extra-time.

The German also guided Iraq to the semi-finals in last year’s Gulf Cup of Nations and West Asian Football Federation Championship.

Iraq have been drawn in Group A for the third round of 2014 World Cup qualifying, where they will face China, Jordan and Singapore, with their first match on September 2.