Krautzun steps down as adviser to Chinese women's soccer team

Updated: 2007-03-09 18:25
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Krautzun steps down as adviser to Chinese women's soccer team

Well-traveled German coach Eckhard Krautzun has stepped down as an adviser to China's women's soccer team.

Reached Friday in Germany, Krautzun said he was suffering from health problems and had left the team.

"I hope to come back to China one day, but right now I must take care of my health," he said.

Krautzun declined to elaborate on his illness.

This could be another blow to the Chinese women, who will host the 16-team women's World Cup in September. China will be among the favorites in a wide-open field that also includes strong teams like Germany, Sweden, Norway, North Korea, Brazil and the United States.

The China team is playing in the Algarve Cup in southern Portugal, which ends next week. Caretaker coach Wang Haiming is handling the club, filling in for head coach Ma Liangxing who is also away with health problems.

Krautzun was viewed as a possible replacement to Ma or Wang.

Krautzun joined the Chinese women in January as a consultant. He has never coached women's soccer, but is one of the biggest names in Germany. He's coached a half dozen Bundesliga teams, and five national teams _ Canada, South Korea, Tunisia, Kenya and the Philippines.

Krautzun has also handled men's youth teams in China