Veteran Serbian coach Bora Milutinovic will lead Asian champions Iraq at this year's FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, the Iraq Football Union (IFU) said on Wednesday. "We have reached an agreement with Bora and signed a contract with him to manage the team at the Confederations Cup," IFU deputy chief Najih Humoud said.

Milutinovic will take up the post on 16 April, Humoud said, in an appointment that comes two months after Brazilian Jorvan Vieira was sacked as coach of the national side. "We agreed the contract could be extended" if the team performed well at the competition, which starts on 14 June, said Humoud.

Iraq, who will not play in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ after failing to qualify, made it to the FIFA Confederations Cup by winning the Asian Cup in 2007, when the side was led by Vieira. The Brazilian, hailed as a hero after guiding the side to victory in that competition, was sacked in February just four months into his second spell for failing to win a game at the Gulf Cup.

Iraq will face European champions Spain, as well as hosts South Africa and New Zealand in the finals, regarded as a tune-up event ahead of the 2010 event that will also be played in South Africa.

Milutinovic, 64, has coached five different national sides at five consecutive FIFA World Cups. He led hosts Mexico in 1986, Costa Rica in 1990, the United States in 1994, Nigeria in 1998, and China in 2002.