Finland coach Roy Hodgson has announced that he will not be signing a new contract with the country's FA and that he will instead be taking up a position with FC Internazionale Milano.
Hodgson will leave a job he started in January 2006, and which nearly culminated in Finland qualifying for UEFA EURO 2008™, in order to return to Inter where he was coach between 1995/96 and 1996/97 and then again in 1998/99. It is expected he will take an ambassadorial role with the Italian champions.
Football Association of Finland president Pekka Hämäläinen said of the Englishman's decision: "Mr Hodgson told me earlier this week that he would not be continuing with us. I was sorry to hear that. We would have liked to have kept him for the FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign."
With the national team having come close to reaching UEFA EURO 2008™ – they were eliminated only when they failed to win their final qualifier in Portugal, drawing 0-0 – Hämäläinen added: "He has done a great job. We understand that other parties have been interested in his services, and we wish him all the best for the future."
Hodgson, 60, said he hopes Finland have "the piece of luck" they were missing in the race for Austria/Switzerland when they play for World Cup qualification from next September onwards. The Finns finished fourth in Group A, three points behind second-placed Portugal. Hodgson has coached Malmö FF, Switzerland, Blackburn Rovers FC and Udinese Calcio among other teams.
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