BUENOS AIRES, Juy 31 — Lionel Scaloni signed a contract extension with Argentina yesterday to run until the end of the qualifying period for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said on its website and social media channels.
The 41-year-old was initially hired as interim coach last August, just over two weeks after Jorge Sampaoli was sacked following Argentina’s last 16 elimination from the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Last November his deal was extended until December of this year. Following a third-place finish at the Copa America in Brazil, which ended earlier this month, Scaloni has been given the chance to try to qualify for the World Cup.
Qualifiers begin in March 2020 and will run until mid-November 2021.
He will also be in charge for next year’s Copa America hosted jointly by Argentina and Colombia.
Scaloni, who had never held a head coach job before being appointed to lead the national team, had been boosted by support from his players, including five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, following the Copa America.
Messi, though, 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.
South American qualifying for the World Cup involves a single round robin with 10 teams playing each other home and away.
The top four sides will qualify directly for Qatar while the fifth placed team will go into an inter-continental play-off.
Argentina play friendlies against Chile and Mexico in the United States in September and then travel to face Germany in October. — AFP