Shakir given full-time Iraq role

Hakim Shakir has been promoted to full-time head coach of the Iraqi national team, the Asian Football Confederation said Sunday.

Shakir was given a caretaker role after Brazilian Zico resigned in late November and has been rewarded for his impressive spell in charge of the under-19 side. The 49-year-old's first task will be the Gulf Cup 2013 starting in Bahrain next week.

Looking further ahead, Shakir will also have his hands full with the country's FIFA World Cup™ 2014 qualifying campaign.

Iraq, 92nd in the latest FIFA / Coca-Cola World Rankings, are still in the running to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and are third in Group B of the Asian zone final qualifiers with five points from five games. 

They are trailing second-placed Australia only on goal difference. The top two teams qualify directly for the finals while the third-placed team goes into a play-off system.