Fluminense chief Ramalho poised to be new Brazil coach

FLUMINENSE coach Muricy Ramalho is on the verge of being confirmed as Brazil boss following a meeting with federation officials yesterday.

Ramalho has only been in charge of the Rio de Janeiro-based club for three months but has revealed he is set for talks with his employers in a bid to be released from his contract.

The 54-year-old held discussions with federation president Ricardo Teixeira with a view to becoming Dunga’s successor.

“I’m not Brazil coach yet,” Ramalho said. “But I only have to talk to Fluminense.”

Dunga’s contract was not renewed following Brazil’s disappointing World Cup campaign. Their hopes of a sixth World Cup triumph ended at the quarter-final stage as they let slip a 1-0 half-time lead to suffer a shock 2-1 loss to the Netherlands.

Ramalho is little known outside his homeland but is highly rated in Brazil.

As well as being named Brazil coach of the year four times in a row, Ramalho led Sao Paulo to three successive league titles and, although he had a tricky six months at Palmeiras, he is enjoying success again at Fluminense, who currently top the standings.

Ramalho’s contract runs until the end of the season but it is thought to include a clause which allows for his release in the case of him being offered the Brazil job.

Meanwhile Chinese FA head Wei Di has hinted that China may still bid to host the 2026 World Cup even if the 2022 edition is awarded to Asia.

Japan, South Korea, Australia and Qatar are the Asian nations vying to stage the 2022 World Cup and if one were successful, it would seemingly rule China out of the running four years later as FIFA will not allow the same continent to host successive tournaments. But even if that were the case, Wei claims China could still pitch for 2026, adding he had been impressed with the impact the World Cup had made in South Africa.

“After I came back home from the World Cup, I started to consider the bid,” he said.

“I know four Asian countries are bidding for the 2022 World Cup but it does not mean China cannot bid for 2026. We can still bid for it, even if an Asian country hosts the 2022 event.

“It’s not all about success and failure. It’s more about participation.’’


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