Baghdad: The contract and press conference were ready but Bosnian coach Dzemal Hadziabdic left Iraq a day after flying in to take over the national football squad, the federation said Sunday.
Best known as Jamal Haji, the veteran Bosnian coach who spent years managing teams in the Gulf, arrived in Baghdad on Friday, Iraqi federation spokesman Kamel Zghayr told AFP.
"We were surprised Jamal Haji turned down the job and demanded to fly back to his country immediately," he said.
"Everything was going as planned. We had agreed after his arrival that the contract would be formally signed on Sunday and that he would then be presented to the press," Zghayr added.
Haji told Iraqi television as he landed in Baghdad on Friday how happy he was to become Iraq`s new coach.
It was unclear what made the 62-year-old change his mind so suddenly.
He had been expected to oversee a first training session at the Shaab stadium in Baghdad on Sunday before taking the national squad to Qatar on a 10-day training camp.