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Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Friday, 20 March 2009

Patel is new Mauritius coach

By Yasine Mohabuth
BBC Sport, Port Louis

Maritius coach Akbar Patel
Akbar Patel is the new coach of Mauritius

The Mauritius Football Association has appointed Akbar Patel as the new coach of the country's national football team.

He replaces Ashok Chundunsing who was sacked in September 2008.

Patel will now work with Frenchman Marc Collat, who was appointed as national technical director in January as Mauritius tries to boost its footballing fortunes.

The new coach is a well known figure on the Mauritian football landscape for coaching the national team to the gold medal at the Indian Ocean Islands Games in 2003.

"I am deeply honoured by this assignment as the national team represents the pride of a nation and I can assure that I will do my best to deliver", he told BBC Sport.

"It is unacceptable that, in a short span of time, we have tumbled down the Fifa rankings from the 130 to 173.

"But I am optimistic that, with the help of all stakeholders, we can bounce back and become more competitive.

"The potential is here and we need to work hard to build up a competitive team for forthcoming competitions and I have a well worked plan for this."

The first task for Patel is to prepare the team for July's southern African Championship the Cosafa Cup after they failed to make it to the final round of 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

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see also
Collat appointed Mauritius coach
19 Jan 09 |  African
Mauritius sack coach Chundunsing
18 Sep 08 |  African

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