Friday, July 25, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (July 25,2008) — Miroslav Blazevic signed a two-year contract to coach the Bosnian national football team yesterday.Blazevic, who led Croatia to a third-place finish at the 1998 World Cup, has replaced Meho Kodro, who was fired in May for refusing to prepare the team for a friendly with Iran.

Many Bosnian players had refused to play for the national team in protest at the perceived mismanagement within the Bosnian Football Association, but Blazevic said he has talked to most of them and they all agreed to come back.

He said he would take his job seriously and would try to move Bosnian football forward from its current position.

"I talked to most of the players from the team and none of them refused my invitation. If it happens that some of them do not come, the doors of the national team will be closed for him," Blazevic told reporters in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

"I will not beg anyone and will not ask twice," said Blazevic, who expressed his optimism in bettering the team's position in the forthcoming qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

During his career Blazevic, who was born in the central Bosnian town of Travnik 73 years ago, led more than 20 football teams, including the national teams of Switzerland, Iran and Croatia.

Blazevic's first concrete task with Bosnia will be a friendly against Bulgaria on August 20 in the central Bosnian town of Zenica.

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