Svennis to North Korea?
Football manager Sven-Göran “Svennis” Eriksson is in the final stages of negotiations with the North Korean Football Association to coach their national team, reports British newspapers.
According to The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph, the 61 year old Swede, who is currently director of football at the British League Two club, Notts County, is reported to be travelling to Beijing in the next few days together with the Executive Chairman Peter Trembling, to conclude the negotiations.
The British papers reported that Eriksson would be coaching the North Korean team on a part time basis, while not leaving his current position with Notts County. Peter Trembling, who is reported to have established contact between Eriksson and the North Koreans, was said to be supporting him in the negotiations.
However, according to the Times Online today, Eriksson is reported to have turned the North Koreans down. Although he will be flying to Beijing later in the week, itis to help Trembling in "spreading the Notts County empire in the Far East".
The Times also quotes a source close to Svennis who reportedly has said that Eriksson did deliberate on the offer, which was as technical adviser, but that he decided to turn it down.
If Svennis would have taken over the management of the North Koreans he would have been leading them through the upcoming FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010. North Korea recently qualified for the tournament, for the first time in 44 years.