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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK

Coach's future in doubt

By Rodrigo Amaral
BBC Sport Online

Costa Rica coach Alexandre Guimaraes may not be in charge for much longer despite his team's fine showing at the World Cup so far.

Press reports say Brazilian-born "Guima" has not yet signed a new contract with the Costa Rican FA and may be heading to Mexico, Brazil or Spain once the tournament is over.

" It is an honour and a privilege to face my native country, but I won't sing Brazil's anthem "
Alexandre Guimaraes

There is media speculation about tension between the coach and president of the national football association, Hermes Navarro.

"I think Hermes is waiting for me to concluded negotiations elsewhere, and, if I can't make a deal in other country, then he will offer me how much he wants and not how much I deserve," Guimaraes told El Heraldo newspaper.

According to the paper, the mood in the Costa Rican camp is less than buoyant because of disagreements with the FA president over Fifa's daily allowance to pay for players' expenses.

"Hermes Navarro has been 'frozen' by the players. More than that, they don't even take notice of him," a report in El Heraldo continues.

Despite the uncertainties, Guimaraes is trying to keep the players focused on the crucial match with Brazil on Thursday.

The Ticos need a draw against the Group C leaders in order to qualify for the last 16.

Guimaraes played for Costa Rica when they lost to Brazil at the 1990 World Cup.

"I am very excited about this opportunity. It is an honour and a privilege to face my native country," he told La Nacion.

"But I won't sing Brazil's anthem. I will sing Costa Rica's, and I will only feel the Brazilian one."

Guimaraes told the newspaper that he is confident his players can get the result they need.

"Based on how we've been playing, (I think) we have the quality to have a good game against Brazil," he said.


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