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Abramov back at the helm after Uzbekistan part ways with Cuper

Tashkent: Former boss Vadim Abramov will return as Uzbekistan national team head coach after the Uzbekistan Football Association parted ways with Hector Cuper on Monday.

Abramov returns to the head coaching role he previously held from 2010 to 2012, with his first assignment to come in next month’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers fixtures.

As well as holding head coaching positions at several of the country’s top clubs, most recently FC Bunyodkor, Abramov guided Uzbekistan to the AFC Asian Cup semi-finals in 2011, their best ever finish at the tournament.

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Cuper’s tenure as White Wolves boss comes to end after 14 months in charge and having reached the Round of 16 at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, with this month’s unexpected 2-0 Asian Qualifiers defeat to Palestine his final game in charge.

The UFA confirmed Cuper’s departure on its official website, saying: “The Football Association of Uzbekistan expresses gratitude to Hector Cooper and the coaching staff for their work with the national team of Uzbekistan and wish them further success.”

In a later statement, the UFA announced Abramov as the new man in charge, also revealing former Uzbekistan national team veteran Timur Kapadze and Australian coach Mirko Jelicic as part of the 57-year-old’s coaching staff.

A former boss of major European clubs like Inter Milan and Valencia, Cuper also held national team head coaching roles with Georgia and Egypt prior to his August 2018 appointment, guiding the latter to the African Cup of Nations final in 2017.

Uzbekistan’s Round of 16 exit from UAE 2019 was their earliest elimination for the Asian Cup since 2000, with their 2-0 loss to Palestine ultimately ending Cuper’s time in charge of the side now 88th in the FIFA Rankings.

The first game of Abramov’s second spell in charge will come at Uzbekistan’s home Asian Qualifiers clash against Yemen on October 10, before they travel to Singapore for an away fixture five days later.

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