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bana2166
04-27-06, 03:57 PM
Luis Felipe Scolari set to be named England manager
Portugal national coach to succeed Eriksson after World Cup

SportsTicker
Updated: 2:26 p.m. ET April 27, 2006

LONDON - Luiz Felipe Scolari is set to be named as the next England manager if he can agree to terms but an announcement is unlikely before next week.

The appointment needs to be ratified by the Football Association board at a scheduled meeting next week.

FA chief executive Brian Barwick returned from Lisbon on Thursday and confirmed he had held talks with the 57-year-old Brazilian.

?I think it is well-evidenced now that we were in Lisbon, speaking to Felipe Scolari, as part of the process of recruiting the next coach and that process continues,? Barwick said.

Barwick was given permission to speak to Scolari in March after FA chairman Geoff Thompson contacted his opposite number in the Portuguese football federation Gilberto Madail.

Scolari is under contract as Portugal coach until after the World Cup and reports in that country suggested he still has yet to agree to matters such as salary and the timing of his appointment.

The news of Barwick?s approach has led to a storm of criticism aimed at the FA for turning to a foreign coach once more.

Howard Wilkinson, who was FA technical director at the time of Sven-Goran Eriksson?s appointment in 2000, believes football chiefs have gone back on their original intentions.

?At the time Sven was appointed, it was very much seen as a necessity to have a foreign coach, with the intention that the next appointment would be, could be and should be someone who had come through the system in this country,? Wilkinson said. ?I am concerned about the effect appointing Scolari will have on English football at playing and coaching level.

?We don?t have a problem with Scolari, he has good credentials and a good CV. We are not being xenophobic. It?s about the best interests of English football for the next 10 to 15 years.?

Scolari?s impending appointment is an especially bitter blow to Middlesbrough?s Steve McClaren, who as Eriksson?s assistant has close connections with the FA and had been led to believe unofficially that he was the front-runner last week.

One potentially damaging side effect is that McClaren will have to go to the World Cup and play an important part in the England set-up but in the knowledge that he has not got the call to step up to the coach?s job once the tournament is over.

Martin O?Neill was the early favorite but he appears to have paid the price for his loyalty to his coaching staff while Bolton manager Sam Allardyce and Charlton?s Alan Curbishley were viewed as not having the necessary experience.

Scolari?s emergence as the leading candidate came after the FA?s six-man selection panel failed to agree on a domestic successor to Eriksson.

Arsenal vice-chairman and leading FA board member David Dein had been backing Scolari since the start of the process, having had links with him for several years.

With significant opposition to McClaren on the panel, Scolari?s impressive CV made him the only candidate who would command unity - he won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 and took Portugal to the Euro 2004 final.