Former Japan boss Aguirre takes charge of UAE club

Former Japan National coach Javier Aguirre of Mexico enters the courthouse in Valencia to declare about his alleged involvement on an ongoing match-fixing case in Valencia , March 27, 2015. REUTERS/Heino Kalis

DUBAI (Reuters) - Javier Aguirre, who was fired by Japan in February because of his alleged involvement in a match-fixing investigation, has returned to management with United Arab Emirates club Al-Wahda.

The Mexican 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 by the National.

“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 quarter-final 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 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.

Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by Peter Rutherford