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Savicevic stays as Yugoslavia coach

Yugoslavia national coach Dejan Savicevic has agreed a two-year contract extension.

Yugoslavia national coach Dejan Savicevic has agreed a two-year contract extension, ensuring he will be in charge for their EURO 2004™ campaign.

Written deal
Former FK Crvena Zvezda and Milan AC player Savicevic took up the role in December 2001, having previously worked with the national coaching team including Vujadin Boskov and Ivan Curkovic that was in charge for the final 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The new deal was confirmed after a meeting on Friday in Belgrade with the Yugoslav Football Association (FSJ), and it is the first time in a decade that the FSJ and their national coach have signed a written contract, ending speculation that Dusan Bajevic, now in charge of AEK Athens FC, would be appointed.

EURO 2004™ hopes
FSJ president Dragan Stojkovic said: "It is important for us. We hope that supporters knew that we are making plans for the future. Now, we are finished this business and we can concentrate of the game itself. Everyone hopes that Yugoslavia will be a part of EURO 2004™."

'I do not want money'
Savicevic said of the new contract: "I do not want money, especially big money. The FSJ do not have money and I have a wish to help with all my experience. I was a player for big clubs and I have enough money for myself and my family. I offered to do this role unpaid but they did not want this."

'A great man'
The FSJ confirmed that they insisted on giving the coach a monthly wage, general secretary Branko Bulatovic saying: "We must pay Savicevic. We will make a deal, he is a great man and coach."

'We expect second place'
Looking ahead to EURO 2004™ qualifying, in which Yugoslavia meet Azerbaijan, Finland, Italy and Wales, Savicevic said: "Everybody in Yugoslavia wants to make Portugal 2004. Me too, but I know that we have a very tough job. Italy is the best team in Group 9, so we expect second place. Finland and Wales are also good national teams, but I believe that we are stronger. Some of the older players, like Vladimir Jugovic, Miroslav Djukic and Ljubinko Drulovic have retired and we must make a new team. But I believe we have a great chance."