Coach Hamrén to leave national team
No matter Sweden's result in the UEFA European Championship this summer in France, the head coach of the men's national football team, Erik Hamrén, will leave his post.
Hamrén announced at a press conference that he would step down after his contract expires, but that he had been contemplating the possibility of resigning for some time.
"Actually, I had decided before the playoff matches against Denmark," he said, "but when I told that to my closest colleagues and my wife after the last match, they thought I should think about it a little more and not be in such a hurry with my decision."
Hamrén said that he told Håkan Sjöstrand, the secretary general of the Swedish Football Association, his final decision at the beginning of January in Abu Dhabi, during the team's winter tour, and that he told the team captain, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, yesterday.
In order to avoid speculations and to give the association's board time to find a successor, Hamrén said that he had now elected to go to make his decision public.
The Swedish Football Association confirmed to Swedish Television News that they had already begun looking for Hamrén's replacement.
Hamrén has coached the men's national team since 2009. His tenure has been questioned recently after what was seen as a weak performance by Sweden during its European Championships qualification, finishing third in its group behind Austria and Russia.
Richard Henriksson, football expert at Swedish Radio's sports department, told Radio Sweden that one of Hamrén's strengths has been to get the best out of Sweden's star striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who also serves as the national team's captain.
"He managed to get the maximum out of our only world-class player . . . Ibrahimovic has been great under Hamrén in the national team. And he wasn't before Hamrén took over," said Henriksson.
Former star Henrik Larsson, now manager of Helsingborg, the under-21 national team manager Håkan Ericson, and the Gothenburg coach Jörgen Lennartsson have been mentioned as speculative successors.