The United Arab Emirates has sacked its Serbian coach Ivan Jovanovic without a single game in charge as his task of steering them to a pair of major tournaments was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, the UAE FA said on Monday.
Jovanovic, who won four Cypriot league titles with APOEL Nicosia and reached the 2012 Champions League quarter-finals with the club, took over at UAE in December on a six-month contract in a bid to reach the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
“The UAE Football Association has terminated the contract of Ivan Jovanovic and his team of assistants, thanking him for his efforts and wishing him success,” the governing body said on its official website.
— UAEFA (@uaefa_ae) December 30, 2019
“The decision was made based on the recommendation of the FA national teams and technical affairs committee, headed by Yusef Hussain Al-Sahlawi, the second vice-president of the federation and head of the committee.
“The FA board delegated the committee to sign a new technical staff to lead the team during the coming period.”
The pandemic brought to a halt World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers before Jovanovic could make his debut, leaving UAE fourth in its World Cup qualifying group on four points from as many games behind Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand.