BANGKOK - German Winfried Schaefer is
close to clinching a deal with Thailand to take over as national
team coach ahead of the start of the team's 2014 World Cup
qualifying campaign next month, the country's football federation
said on Wednesday.
Schaefer, a former Karlsruhe manager who led Cameroon to
their fourth African Cup of Nations title in 2002, was due to
meet with Thai football chief Worawi Makudi on Wednesday to sign a
contract, effective from July 1.
"I believe the contract would be for three years, we want
Schaefer to improve the national team and work to develop Thai
football at all levels," Ong-Art Kosinkar, secretary-general of
the Football Association of Thailand, told Reuters.
Schaefer, 61, is set to become the sixth foreigner in eight
years to take the notoriously difficult job. His predecessors
include compatriot Siegfied Held, Brazilian Carlos Roberto and
Englishmen Peter Withe, Peter Reid and Bryan Robson.
Thailand have been in a race to hire a new coach ahead of
the start of qualification for the 2014 World Cup on July 23 due
to the resignation of former England captain Robson, who quit on
June 18 after overseeing the side's worst run of form in a
Thailand have fallen to 120th in the FIFA rankings and will
face either Palestine or Afghanistan in their opening qualifier
for Brazil 2014.
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