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Several contenders for France coach post
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-09 06:45

French Football Federation (FFF) chairman Claude Simonet has postponed the appointment of France's new national coach to succeed Jacques Santini.

"Chairman Claude Simonet told us that the name of the new coach of the national team will be known on Monday, in Paris, at the headquarters of the FFF," an FFF spokesman said on Wednesday.

"Chairman Simonet said he wanted to give himself more time for thought," he added.

Earlier this week the FFF said the announcement was due on Friday as the Federation's board holds a regular meeting.

Former internationals Laurent Blanc and Jean Tigana are regarded by French media as the favourites.

Raymond Domenech, the under-21 coach, has also declared an interest. Bruno Metsu, who led Senegal to the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals, is seen as an outside candidate.

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle has also applied to become France's second foreign coach after Romanian Stefan Kovacs, who was in charge from 1973 to 1975.

Simonet met Hoddle and Domenech for an hour and a half each on Wednesday and also had a phone conversation with Metsu, who was in Dakar, the FFF spokesman said.

The FFF chairman had discussions with Blanc and Tigana during Euro 2004 in Portugal.

Santini, who was appointed after the 2002 World Cup, announced just before Euro 2004 that he would leave at the end of the tournament to join English premier league Tottenham where he held his first media conference at his new club on Wednesday.

His reign ended with the European title-holders beaten 1-0 in the quarter-finals by eventual winners Greece.

France will play a friendly on August 18 against Bosnia in Rennes. They begin their 2006 World Cup qualifiers in September and are grouped with Ireland, Switzerland, Israel, Cyprus and the Faroe Islands.

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