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.