Scotland coach Clarke signs new contract

football24 March 2023 16:02| © AFP
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Lionel Messi © Gallo Images

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke has agreed a new deal to stay in charge of the national side until the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Scotland open their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign against Cyprus at Hampden Park on Saturday and host Spain three days later.

Clarke, 59, has immediately set his sights on returning to a major tournament after his team featured at Euro 2020 – the first time Scotland had qualified for the final stages of a top-level event since 1998.

The former West Brom and Reading manager, whose side were last year promoted to Uefa League Group A, said he was "proud" to sign an extension to his Scotland contract.

"The immediate focus is ensuring a positive start to our Euros campaign against Cyprus, who were the opposition for my first match in charge in 2019," Clarke said.

"When we named our squad for the double-header, I spoke with my coaches about how the quality and depth of the squad has evolved in those four years."

Scottish Football Association chief executive Ian Maxwell said the decision had been one of the "easiest" during his time in the role.

"Steve has united the nation behind a successful men's national team and as we look forward to a new Uefa Euro 2024 campaign, it was important we demonstrated our commitment to Steve and his backroom team, and acknowledged the continuity that has been key to our improvement in the past four years," he said.