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