December 7, 2014 / 12:02 PM / 4 years ago

Kuwait appoint Tunisian Maaloul ahead of Asian Cup

Nabil Maaloul, former head coach of Qatar's El Jaish, gestures during their AFC Champions League soccer match against Iran's Foolad in Doha February 25, 2014. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

(Reuters) - Asian Cup finalists Kuwait unveiled Tunisian Nabil Maaloul as their new head coach on Sunday.

The former Tunisian international agreed an 18 month deal after negotiating an exit from his contract with Qatar Stars League club El Jaish, the Kuwait FA said.

Maaloul had been identified as the number one target after the exit of Brazilian Jorvan Vieira following a disappointing group stage exit at the recent Gulf Cup of Nations, Kuwait FA President Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad said last week.

Kuwait, Asian Cup winners in 1980, have been drawn in Group A along with hosts Australia, South Korea and Oman for the Jan. 9-31 tournament.

Maaloul’s first match in charge will be Wednesday’s friendly against fellow Asian Cup finalists Uzbekistan. They then face Iraq and United Arab Emirates before beginning their campaign in Australia.

Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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