HANOI (22 March 2011) – Frenchman Pierre Lechantre has emerged as the frontrunner to fill Vietnam’s top coaching position, according to the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF).
The VFF are currently on the lookout for a new coach to replace Henrique Calisto who left last month to take up his new position at Thailand’s Muang Thong United.
“Selecting five finalists from 25 applicants is difficult, but information verification and negotiation is vital,” said a VFF official, who pointed out that the federation is planning to make an official announcement by the end of this month.
Lechantre was successful with the Cameroon national squad in 2000 (Olympic and African championships). He was also the national coach of Mali and Qatar and several clubs in Western Asia and Africa, such as Al Ahli, Al Siliya, Al Rayyan, MAS Fes, Africa and Sfaxien.
Among the other candidates shortlisted by the VFF are Hans Juergen Gede and Franz Goetz from Germany, Steve Sampson from the USA and Eduardo Martinho Viganda from Portugal.
Sampson was an assistant to then US coach Bora Milutinovic at the FIFA World Cup in 1994 before taking over as chief coach of the US squad at the Copa America 1995 and World Cup 1998.
He had also led Costa Rica from 2002-2004 before joining Los Angeles Galaxy for two years.
Eduardo Martinho Viganda had also worked for many clubs in Asia and Europe, including the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia. He was the coach of the Portuguese national team when they ranked fourth at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.