Swiss under-21 coach Jakob "Köbi" Kuhn has been appointed manager of the country's senior side ending two days of speculation following the resignation of Enzo Trossero.This content was published on June 10, 2001 - 11:49
The 58-year-old Kuhn, who has an excellent playing pedigree with 64 national caps under his belt, has never managed a club side despite three successful years at the helm of the under-21 team.
Kuhn, who has signed a contract up until the 2004 European Championships, promised to do all he could to justify the faith the Swiss Football Association had shown in him.
The new manager said his first task would be to contact all the members of the national squad. "My next game is in August," he said, "and before then I want to speak to all the players.
"I know them all already, of course, but to know them properly I need intensive talks. That will be my main activity in the coming weeks."
Kuhn insisted that it was still possible for the Swiss team to qualify for the World Cup, but they were going to need three wins from the side's three remaining games.
The German-speaking Kuhn added that he was also considering appointing a French-speaking assistant, but said he had not thought of anyone yet.
Ralph Zloczower, president of the Swiss FA, stressed that the new manager's relative lack of experience should not be seen as a potential weakness. "This was not a concern for us," he said. "What counts is that he had experience with the under-21 side. He already knows the association and that is a very big point."
As a player, Kuhn will be forever tied to FC Zurich for whom he made almost 500 appearances over 16 years. A midfielder known for his dribbling skills, he won six league championships and five Swiss cups.
He also played twice in the semi-finals of the European Cup, against Real Madrid in 1963 and against Liverpool in 1977. Kuhn also enjoyed two short spells as the interim coach of FC Zurich in 1983 and 1984.
Switzerland's former manager Trossero resigned on Friday two days after his side lost a crucial World Cup qualifier against Slovenia in Basel.
There have been persistent rumours linking Trossero with the Argentine side, Independiente, but the former Swiss coach has repeatedly denied them.
In an interview with the "dimanche.ch" newspaper, Trossero insisted: "I don't have another job." The Argentine also stated that Kuhn had all the attributes needed to manage the national side.
swissinfo with agencies
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