Soccer-Kluivert steps in for Hiddink as Curacao coach

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Africa Cup of Nations 2019 - Group F - Cameroon v Ghana - Ismailia Stadium, Ismailia, Egypt - June 29, 2019 Cameroon assistant coach Patrick Kluivert applauds fans after the match. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

WILLEMSTAD (Reuters) - Patrick Kluivert is to step in as acting coach for Curacao in World Cup qualification next month, with Guus Hiddink ruled out as he recovers from COVID-19, the country’s football association said.

Former Dutch international Kluivert, who leaves his job as Barcelona’s youth development head in July, will replace Hiddink for matches away against the British Virgin islands on June 5 and then home to Guatemala four days later.

If Curacao win the two matches, they advance to the second stage of CONCACAF qualification for next year’s finals in Qatar, where they will meet either the Dominican Republic or Panama in a two-legged elimination tie on June 12 and 15.

Hiddink, appointed last year to help the Caribbean island nation in their bid to qualify for a first World cup, is expected to be back in charge for July’s Concacaf Gold Cup, where the autonomous Dutch territory meet El Salvador, Mexico and a yet to be determined qualifier in Texas.

The 74-year-old Hiddink is recovering from COVID-19 infection and asked that Kluivert, who was Curacao’s coach for two years from 2015-16, stand in for him, a statement from the Federashon Futbol Korsou said.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Next In Football

Soccer-After Eriksen shock, Denmark eye last 16 before must-win match vs Russia
Soccer-Portugal's Dias says demanding season motivated him for Euros
Soccer-Southgate says Kane was taken off in Scotland game to give England more energy
Soccer-Early header secures 1-0 win for Argentina against Uruguay
Soccer-English-born striker new hero for Chile in Copa America
Soccer-Police make 18 arrests as England clash with Scotland
Soccer-English-born striker gives Chile 1-0 win over Bolivia
Soccer-England's Southgate looks at bigger picture after drab draw is jeered
Soccer-Scotland boss tips Gilmour for big future after fine full debut
Analysis-Soccer-Toiling Kane not leading England by example

Stories You'll Enjoy