Kanerva replaces Backe at Finland helm

Former U21 boss Markku Kanerva, 52, has been unveiled as the new coach of Finland after Hans Backe failed to record a single victory in his 11 matches in charge in 2016.

Markku Kanerva (Finland)
©Football Association of Finland

Markku Kanerva has replaced Hans Backe as coach of Finland following a disappointing start to 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Swede Backe departs after less than 12 months in the role, having overseen nine defeats, two draws and no victories. Finland have managed a solitary point from four European Qualifiers so far and lie fifth in the six-team Group I.

Backe's replacement Kanerva has signed a three-year contract, returning to a post that he has held twice in a caretaker capacity, in 2011 and 2015. The 52-year-old has been in the national coaching set-up since 2004, leading Finland to the 2009 U21 EURO.

Five-times a Finnish title winner as a defender with HJK Helsinki, Kanerva won 59 caps. His back-room staff will include Simo Valakari, Jonatan Johansson and Antti Niemi.