Thursday, May 25, 2006

No favourite yet for coach of China Olympic team

The China Football Association, the country's football governing body, has announced that French coach Philippe Troussier is not the favourite to coach China's national football team for the 2008 Olympics Games, the Beijing Star Daily reported 25 May. "The coach selection has been postponed until the end of the German World Cup. There will be no favourite named before the end of the World Cup," CFA deputy director Yang Yimin told the Beijing-based newspaper. Other CFA officials expressed their hopes that another, better coach will want the opportunity to lead the national team, China Daily commented.

Troussier, who guided the Japan national team into the final 16 in the 2002 Japan-Korea World Cup, has expressed interest in China's Olympic team due to their solid performance in the Toulon tournament. "I am very impressed by the team's tactics and outstanding individual skills," the French coach reportedly said after viewing a 1-0 win for China over powerhouse Argentina. "I am willing to coach the China team and I am confident I could guide them into the world's top 20 in the next 10 years," he said.

Other candidates for the Chinese team's coaching position reportedly include Yugoslav Milorad Kasanovic, who coached the Dalian Shide in China's Super League and Liobu Petrovic, the former head coach of Red Star Belgrade.

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