Javier Aguirre is headed to the Middle East…
The 56-year-old Mexican former footballer and current manager, who was let go by Japan in February because of his alleged involvement in a match-fixing investigation, has returned to management with a new role with United Arab Emirates club Al-Wahda.
Aguirre, nicknamed El Vasco, replaces Saudi Arabian Sami Al Jaber, whose contract was not renewed after the club’s fourth-placed finish in the Arabian Gulf League last month.
“Aguirre has signed a one-year extendable contract,” Al-Wahda board member Jamal Mohammed Al Hosani was quoted as saying in the press.
“The new coach is a great asset for the club as he has vast experience and a successful record as a coach.”
Aguirre was at the helm when defending champions Japan made a surprise quarterfinal exit to the UAE in January’s Asian Cup and was removed as boss the following month over fears a match-fixing case could affect their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.
In December, Aguirre and 40 others were named in an alleged case of match-fixing involving a game between Real Zaragoza and Levante in Spain in the 2010-11 season.
Zaragoza, then coached by Aguirre, won 2-1 at Levante on the final day to avoid relegation.
Prosecutors allege that the Levante players were paid a total of 965,000 euros (£690,813) to deliberately lose the game. Aguirre, who has also coached Mexico at two World Cups, denies any wrongdoing.