Vieira quits Iraq, may accept South Korean offer

Iraq coach Jorvan Vieira said he will turn down an extension to his two-month contract because of chronic disorganisation in Iraqi football which he said made the job the most difficult of his career. When Vieira took over just two months before the Asian Cup tournament, the team was in disarray, with poor training facilities, players unavailable and rifts between Shi'ites and minority Sunni Arabs in the squad. "I took this job because it was a tremendous challenge and I have no regrets at all," he said. "But I can't fight against everybody. I'm looking for a club or a national team with good organisation ... here, I'm doing everybody else's job. If my contract was for six months and not for two they would have had to take me to the hospital for crazy people."

Vieira said steering the unfancied Iraqis to their first Asian Cup final was one of the finest moments of his career. "It was very big for me, one of my greatest achievements. I had a gut feeling inside, a message that I should take this job. It was a fantastic experience, it was a gift from god ... The whole world is talking about us. They are talking about the war in Iraq and they are amazed at what we have done as a team and as a group. This team have become stars in the world and not only because of football. I'm very happy that I had the chance to help this team give hope to the Iraqi people. I'm a very organised and meticulous man. It's difficult to work when you are agitated and things don't go as you wish. I have to fight against everything. I'm so tired, this is not good for my health."

And last night he emerged as favourite to take over the newly vacant post of South Korean coach. "The Korean federation contacted me," he said. "If we can work out terms there is the potential that I can become the Korean coach sometime in the future," he told Martin Petty of the Daily Telegraph.

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