Report: Hiddink to coach Ivory Coast

Guus Hiddink has agreed to coach Ivory Coast at this year’s World

Cup, Dutch national broadcaster NOS reported Wednesday.

NOS said the Dutchman will lead Ivory Coast from May 15-July

15 before taking over as Turkey coach in August.

NOS said that before signing with Ivory Coast, Hiddink must

confirm that his contract with Russia has been ended.

Dutch daily De Telegraaf quoted Hiddink’s agent Cees van

Nieuwenhuizen as saying that the negotiations with Russia are a

barrier to the Ivory Coast deal. Hiddink’s contract with Russia

expires in June. He took Russia to the semifinals of the 2008

European Championship but failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Hiddink coached the Netherlands to the World Cup semifinals

in 1998, South Korea to the same stage four years later and led

Australia at the World Cup in Germany four years ago.

Van Nieuwenhuizen did not immediately return a call seeking

comment.

Vahid Halilhodzic was fired as coach last week after Ivory

Coast failed to reach the semifinals at the African Cup of Nations

earlier this year.

The Elephants will play in the same group as Brazil, Portugal

and North Korea at the June 11-July 11 World Cup tournament.

In Tokyo, media reported that former Japan coach Philippe

Troussier also could take over as Ivory Coach’s coach.

The 54-year-old Troussier has also been in charge of Nigeria,

Qatar and Morocco and currently serves as general manager of Japan

Football League team FC Ryukyu.

On Tuesday, Sven-Goran Eriksson’s agent said the former

England coach was unlikely to take charge of the Ivory Coast team

at the World Cup.