Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 7, 2007

Blokhin quits as Ukraine coach

Filed under: EURO 2008,Ukraine — Ivan @ 3:00 am

By Mikhail Volobuyev

KIEV, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Oleg Blokhin quit as Ukraine coach on Thursday after his team failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

“This was a hard decision, it wasn’t easy,” the former Soviet striker told the Ukrainian FA’s executive board meeting.

“After four years with the team, I am resigning because I think, I have nothing more to give to the national team.

“I’m not putting the blame for the team’s failure on anyone but myself,” he added.

Blokhin, 55, European Player of the Year in 1975 after leading Dynamo Kiev to their first European Cup Winners’ Cup success, was appointed Ukraine coach in September 2003.

He guided the national team to their first major finals at the 2006 World Cup in Germany where they reached the quarter-finals.

Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine failed to reach next year’s European championship finals from one of the strongest qualifying groups, finishing fourth behind world champions Italy, World Cup finalists France and Scotland.

Media reports said Blokhin, whose contract expires at the end of the year, was seeking a four-year extension so he could coach the team on home soil at the 2012 finals, but Ukrainian FA chief Hrigory Surkis would only offer a two-year deal.

Blokhin wanted more security with Ukraine also facing an uphill battle to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals after being drawn in a tough group with Croatia and England.

Blokhin, who also coached Greek club Olympiakos in the early 1990s, said he was taking a rest for now and dismissed media speculation he might join either FK Moscow or Dynamo Kiev.

“There are no talks with any club at the moment,” he said.

Surkis said the federation will meet next month to plan for next year and hopes to have made a choice by then. “There are no candidates right now, we are looking around,” he said. (Writing by Gennady Fyodorov; editing by Ken Ferris)

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