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Brazil legend Zico resigns as Iraq’s national soccer coach

Brazil soccer legend Zico has said he is resigning as coach of Iraq’s national team because of a contract breach.
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Iraq's national coach Zico looks over at the start of their match against Jordan in the 2014 World Cup Asia Zone qualifying match in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil on September 2, 2011. (SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

Brazil soccer legend Zico has said he is resigning as coach of Iraq’s national team because of a contract breach.

In a statement posted on his official website, Zico said his decision came from the failure of the Iraqi soccer association to live up to its commitments in his contract, reported the Associated Press. Officials of the Iraq Football Association (IFA) declined to comment Wednesday. Zico said last month that he was owed four months of pay by the IFA, noting that he was disappointed by the organization's lack of consideration for his work.

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"I would like to inform via this website that I have sent a communication to FIFA ... and to the Iraq Football Association declaring that I consider my contract to be void due to the IFA's failure to abide by its terms," he said on his website, according to Agence France-Presse. "I will provide further details shortly."

Zico,59, a former midfielder, was put in charge of Iraq last summer and has since had his team play 21 games, with 10 wins and six draws, AFP also noted. Home matches have been played in Doha for security reasons.

The coach's resignation comes despite his team being in the running to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, reported Reuters. Iraq is currently third in Group B of the Asia Zone final qualifiers with five points from five games, trailing second-placed Australia only on goal difference.

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