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Iordanescu staying with Romania

Anghel Iordanescu will continue as Romania coach until 2005, after agreeing a new contract.

Second spell
Iordanescu, who is in his second spell in charge of Romania, will sign the contract this week. The deal, which runs from 1 October to the autumn of 2005, will be extended should Romania qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Hopes in balance
Iordanescu's previous contract expired this month following the 2-2 draw with Denmark in Copenhagen which left Romania's UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying hopes in the balance. Romania are second in their section and relying on Bosnia-Herzegovina and Norway to fail in their final matches to secure a place in the qualifying play-offs.

Offer from Russia
Iordanescu spoke to officials from Russian club FC Rostselmash Rostov-na-Donu last Friday but rejected their offer in favour of remaining in the Romania post. "The national team means an enormous amount to me," he said. "It's my Bible and it's worth more than any money in the world." Even the country's prime minister, Adrian Nastase, had joined players and Iordanescu's family in trying to persuade him to stay on.

Seeking stability
Iordanescu's first spell as Romania coach ran from 1993-1998, the high point of which was reaching the last eight of the 1994 World Cup. Looking ahead to the next two years, he said: "I've worked for the last 18 months with 60 players in order to establish a stable group in the national team and that's what I am going to do." His next match will be a friendly against Japan in Bucharest on 11 October.