Argentina keeps Scaloni as coach for World Cup qualifiers

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina’s interim coach Lionel Scaloni will stay on at least through next year’s World Cup qualifiers.

The executive committee of Argentina’s soccer association announced Tuesday evening that the 41-year-old Scaloni will remain as coach but did not provide more details.

Scaloni took over as interim coach after Jorge Sampaoli was fired following last year’s World Cup in Russia.

Argentina was eliminated by eventual champion France in the Round of 16 after poor performances in group play.

Scaloni, a former player for Argentina, had no previous experience as a coach before taking on the interim role. He was a member of the soccer association’s staff.

Scaloni led Argentina to the semifinals of this year’s Copa América, which ended with a 2-0 loss to host Brazil. Star player Lionel Messi voiced his support for Scaloni then.