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French Coach in Line for China Job
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Globe-trotting French football coach Philippe Troussier has been named the favorite to coach China's national team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, state press reported.

Troussier, who coached Japan to the last 16 of the 2002 World Cup, is at the top of a list of candidates for the job following a China Football Association (CFA) meeting on Friday, Titan Sports reported on Monday.

The CFA hopes to name a coach by mid-May, unnamed sources with the association told the paper, while Troussier was quoted as expressing strong enthusiasm for the position.

"Of course I'm interested in going to China to coach," Troussier told the paper while in Japan for talks about possibly coaching a Japanese club, adding he hoped the CFA would contact him as soon as possible.

"Right now, what attracts me is the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

"The eyes of the world will be on the Beijing Olympics, if I can participate in the Olympic football tournament as the coach of China, this would be a huge honor."

Besides Japan, Troussier has coached the national teams of Qatar, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and South Africa.

Other candidates for the China position reportedly included Yugoslavs Milorad Kasanovic, who has coached Dalian Shide in China's Super League, and Liobu Petrovic, the former head coach of Red Star Belgrade.

Ilija Petkovic, the current coach of Serbia Montenegro, was also being considered, according to Titan Sports.

The CFA's press office refused to confirm to AFP that a short-list of candidates had been drawn up, or even that a foreign coach would be hired for the Olympic team.

(AFP via China Daily April 25, 2006)

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