Finding Le Roy's Replacement Race Down To 3
Ghana football chiefs are close to naming a successor to Frenchman Claude Le Roy before the Black Stars hit the road to the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup next week. Signals picked from highly-placed sources indicate that the Serbian Vladimir Petrovic is in a hot contest with two other unnamed expatriate coaches. There are strong indications that the FA may name a substantive coach by the close of the week, having done extensive search, but the Graphic Sports gathers that none of the marquee names being bandied around were seriously considered by the Ghana Football Association's search committee. A few days ago Germans Lothar Matthaeus and Klaus Toppmoeller were linked with the Stars job, but GFA spokesman, Randy Abbey, vehemently denied the FA was in negotiations with either German. He refused to be drawn into any speculation about the possible successor to departing Le Roy. But other sources close to the corridors of power revealed that another German and a Croat were in a race to occupy the hot seat which officially becomes vacant when Le Roy's contract runs out on May 30. "The GFA has narrowed down their search to three coaches, a German, a Serbian (which this paper learned was Petrovic) and a Croat. What I can tell you is that the German being considered is neither Matthaeus nor Topmoeller," said a GFA insider. "As is normal in such situations, there are all manner of speculations often engineered by agents of these coaches," he noted. Speculations have been rife since the GFA terminated Le Roy's contract one month ahead of time, with Ghana-born French legend Marcel Desailly initially linked with the job as the GFA's preferred choice until the former France captain declined interest last week. The GFA maintained they had neither made an offer to him nor made an official contact with Desailly, easily one of the most decorated footballers of his generation. Even though the GFA opted to head-hunt Ghana's 21st expatriate coach rather than invite applications, the agents of six coaches still forwarded applications for consideration. According to the Ghana News Agency, the applicants include Frenchman Pierre Lechantre who led Cameroun to African Cup victory in 2000, Bosnian-Frenchman Safet Susic, Robert Muller of Switzerland, Jean Thissen of Belguim, Brazilian Luiz Antonio Zaluar and Petrovic. Two years ago Petrovic forwarded his application in a bid to succeed compatriot, Ratomir Dujkovic, but the GFA overlooked the Serbian and settled for the much-travelled Frenchman Le Roy. Now it appears Petrovic, nicknamed "Pizon", is eyeing another opportunity to handle Africa's highest-ranked national team which his countryman qualified and guided to the second round of Germany 2006 FIFA World Cup. Petrovic, 53, was former Yugoslavia international who played for such clubs as Red Star Belgrade, Arsenal, Nancy, Royal Antwerp and Standard Liege in Belgium. He was assistant coach for Red Star when they defeated Olympique Marseille, featuring Abedi Pele, to win the European Clubs Championship in 1991.
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