August 2, 2018 / 9:14 AM / 17 days ago

Cuper takes over as Uzbekistan head coach

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Former Valencia manager Hector Cuper has been named the new head coach of Uzbekistan, the country’s football association announced on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - Group A - Russia vs Egypt - Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - June 19, 2018 Egypt coach Hector Cuper gestures REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

Cuper, who helped Egypt qualify for the World Cup in Russia over the summer, has been handed a contract through to the 2022 finals in Qatar as Uzbekistan attempt to secure a place at the tournament for the first time.

The 62-year-old will be unveiled in Tashkent on August 6, according to a post on the Uzbekistan Football Association’s official website and social media outlets.

The former Soviet republic joined the Asian Football Confederation in 1994 but has yet to make a significant impact on the continental scene.

Cuper is the first foreign coach to lead the team since Russia’s Valeri Nepomniachi left the role in late 2006 and he replaces caretaker manager Timur Kapadze.

The Argentinian will lead Uzbekistan to next year’s Asian Cup finals in the United Arab Emirates, with the country looking to surpass their fourth place finish at the finals in Qatar in 2011.

The White Wolves have been drawn to face Japan, Oman and Turkmenistan in the quadrennial continental championship, which kicks off on Jan. 5.

Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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