Patrick Kluivert is to step in as acting coach for Curacao in World Cup qualification next month, with Guus Hiddink ruled out as he recovers from COVID-19, the country’s football association said.
Former Dutch international Kluivert, who leaves his job as Barcelona’s youth development head in July, will replace Hiddink for matches away against the British Virgin Islands on June 5 and then home to Guatemala four days later.
If Curacao wins the two matches, it advances to the second stage of CONCACAF qualification for next year’s finals in Qatar, where it will meet either the Dominican Republic or Panama in a two-legged elimination tie on June 12 and 15.
Hiddink, appointed last year to help the Caribbean island nation in its bid to qualify for a first World cup, is expected to be back in charge for July’s Concacaf Gold Cup, where the autonomous Dutch territory meets El Salvador, Mexico and a yet to be determined qualifier in Texas.
The 74-year-old Hiddink is recovering from a COVID-19 infection and asked that Kluivert, who was Curacao’s coach for two years from 2015-16, stand in for him, a statement from the Federashon Futbol Korsou said.
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