The Norwegian Football Association (NFF) has set out its future coaching plans by extending Egil Olsen's contract until the end of the country's UEFA EURO 2012™ campaign – at which point the veteran trainer will be succeeded by Ståle Solbakken.
Olsen, whose deal had been due to expire next month, took charge of Norway for a second time in January, but was unable to steer them to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a feat he managed for the 1994 and 1998 finals. The 67-year-old said of the scheduled handover in 2012: "I am glad Ståle is replacing me. The Norway team will be in good hands. We have the same thoughts about how football should be played."
Solbakken, 41, who has a contract as head coach of Danish Superligaen side FC København until the summer of 2011, is due to take the national-team reins on 1 January 2012. However, if Norway qualify for UEFA EURO 2012™, Olsen will continue at the helm until they are knocked out of the final tournament. "This is the ideal solution for the Norwegian international side," NFF president Sondre Kåfjord said. "Solbakken has had great success at FC København, and is a man for the future of Norwegian football. With an extra two years' experience at what is currently Scandinavia's best club side, we are convinced he will be the right man to take Norway forward."
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