Oleg Blokhin has stepped down as Ukraine coach after four years in charge.
World Cup debut
The former European Footballer of the Year took over in October 2003 and in his maiden campaign led Ukraine to a first major tournament, the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals. However, they could only finish fourth in their UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying group behind Italy, France and Scotland, and just one point clear of Lithuania. Blokhin, 55, accepted the blame and stepped down at today's Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) executive committee meeting.
'Decision is final'
Blokhin, who coached for 12 years in Greece before taking up the post, said: "I want to focus on my career as a club coach. My decision is final." His contract had already expired after 46 games, a tally which yielded 21 wins and 14 draws. No decision has been made on a successor. Ukraine meet Croatia, England, Belarus, Andorra and Kazakhstan in 2010 World Cup qualifying Group 6. The fixture schedule will be decided at a meeting in Zagreb on 14 January.
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