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Tuesday, 4 June, 2002, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK

Broos heads Belgium hit list

By John Chapman

Hugo Broos has emerged as the favourite to take over from Robert Waseige as Belgium coach.

Waseige will step down when the Diables Rouges are eliminated from the World Cup.

However, speculation linking Broos with the job has been dismissed by his boss at Excelsior Mouscron, Jean-Pierre Detremmerie.

The pair were in the Far East for Belgium's opening game of the tournament - a 2-2 draw against Japan.

And after the match Detremmerie said that it was "unthinkable" that Broos would move into international management.

"Hugo has signed a three-year contract with us, with a further two-year option," Detremmerie said.

"You can understand that 10 days before pre-season training starts I will not expect to lose my coach.

" I have not had contact with anyone "
Hugo Broos

"If the Belgian Football Association try to tempt him away I will be extremely angry. It will cost them a lot of money!" he added.

Detremmerie is particularly sensitive on the subject as five years ago Mouscron coach Georges Leekens left the club, while under contract, to take over the national team.

Broos has remained cagey over the speculation although he has revealed that there is a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave.

The 50-year-old, who had a distinguished playing career with Anderlecht and Club Bruges, is seen as an ideal candidate.

He has coached in both Flanders, with Club Bruges, and Wallonia, at his present employers Mouscron.

While at Bruges, Broos won two titles and was named coach of the year in 1992 and 1996.

Belgium newsapaper Het Nieuwsblad has ruled out a number of other possible replacements for Waseige, who will join Standard Liege ahead of the new season.

Eric Gerets and Rene Vandereycken are seen as being insufficiently popular with the public.

Anderlecht boss Aime Anthuenis is another option, but he would face harsh treatment at the hands of the Francophone press.

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