Dejan Savicevic was named as the new coach of Yugoslavia on Thursday, although he has only accepted the job until June next year.
The 35-year-old Savicevic had been, along with former Yugoslavia assistant coach Zoran Filipovic and FK Partizan player Momcilo Vukotic, part of a three-man commission that was responsible for team affairs. But he has taken over the reins on his own until the Yugoslav Football Association (FSJ) find a suitable long-term candidate next summer.
'Filling a blank'
Savicevic, who had also been the vice-president of the FSJ, said of the arrangement: "I don't want to do this job forever. I'm filling a blank until we find a real solution." Former team-mate, and current acting president of the FSJ, Dragan Stojkovic echoed his sentiments. "I do not want to say until what time the coach [Savicevic] will stay," said Stojkovic. "We have elected him to take over the team but when all the world and European tournaments are concluded in June 2002 we will look for a long-term candidate."
'Skills and authority'
Such a figure could be Dusan Bajevic, the current coach of FC PAOK Thessaloniki. Reports in Yugoslavia suggest he is the leading contender to take over the helm of the national team when his contract in Greece expires next year. Branko Bulatovic, general secretary of the FSJ, recently said the 53-year-old Bajevic was being considered because he has the "skills and authority" needed by Yugoslavian football.
Select group of players
One of Europe's most gifted midfield players of the early 1990's, Savicevic joined a select group of players to lift the European Champion Clubs' Cup with different clubs when he added his 1994 triumph with Milan AC to FK Crvena Zvedza's success three years earlier.
Following his country's failure to qualify for the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals, Savicevic will use next year's friendly internationals to boost morale ahead of the qualifying campaign for the 2004 UEFA European Championship, which begins later next year. His first game in charge will be against Mexico in a friendly in the United States on 23 February.
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