Scotland extends coach Clarke's contract to 2026 World Cup

AP , Friday 24 Mar 2023

Steve Clarke extended his contract Friday with Scotland's national soccer team through the 2026 World Cup, which would make him the Tartan Army’s longest-serving coach in more than 20 years.

Steve Clarke
Scotland soccer manager Steve Clarke attends a training session at Lesser Hampden, Glasgow, Scotland, Friday March 24, 2023, ahead of their Euro 2024 qualifying match against Cyprus on Saturday. AP


The Scottish Football Association announced the deal ahead of European Championship qualifying games against Cyprus and Spain.

Clarke led Scotland to Euro 2020 for its first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup.

After Scotland lost to Ukraine in the playoffs for last year's World Cup, the team won a Nations League group to advance to the top tier for the first time.

Clarke, a former Chelsea defender, was hired in 2019 and is set to have the longest spell in the Scotland job since Craig Brown left in 2002 after nine years.

“Steve has united the nation behind a successful men’s national team,” SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell said in a statement.

Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifying group also includes Norway and Georgia.

The top two teams in the group will advance to Euro 2024 in Germany. Scotland also has a guaranteed second path through the playoffs because of its Nations League group win.

The 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico will be the first 48-team edition. Europe has three extra places in a 16-nation quota.

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