July 31 – Lionel Scaloni has extended his contract with Argentina until the end of the qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) has announced.
Earlier this month Scaloni led Argentina to a bronze medal at the Copa America and that result has seemed satisfactory enough for the AFA to extend Scaloni’s contract. Last November his deal had already been extended until the end of 2019. Scaloni was hired just weeks after Argentina’s World Cup debacle under Jorge Sampaoli in Russia.
The novice coach will now oversee World Cup qualifying. The qualifiers begin in March 2020 and four of South America’s teams qualify directly. The fifth-placed team will go to an intercontinental play-off.
Next year Argentina will also co-host the Copa America with Colombia. Scaloni’s results have not always been impressive – Argentina suffered a 3-1 friendly defeat against Venezuela in March – but he crucially he enjoys the support of Lionel Messi.
The diminutive Argentinean will miss the start of World Cup qualifying after he was handed a one-game ban by South American football’s governing body Conmebol for his red card in the Copa America third-place play-off, in which Argentina beat Chile 2-1.
At the continental championship Argentina largely underwhelmed and even struggled to get out of the group stages before falling to host Brazil in the last four after which Messi accused Conmebol of corruption and favoring Brazil.
In September Argentina travel to the United States for friendlies against Chile and Mexico.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1566691975labto1566691975ofdlr1566691975owedi1566691975sni@o1566691975fni1566691975