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Saturday, 29 June, 2002, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK

Anthuenis to coach Belgium

By John Chapman
in Brussels

Anderlecht boss Aime Anthuenis will be the new national coach of Belgium, Belgium FA president Jan Peeters announced on Saturday.

Anthuenis has been offered a contract until the beginning of 2004.

"He should assume his duties as soon as details of the job are discussed with him, possibly in several weeks," FA spokesman Nicolas Cornu said.

Anthuenis was Belgian coach of the year in 1999, 2000 and 2001, when he led Racing Genk and Anderlecht (twice) to the league title.

A Dutch, French and English speaker, the FA regards him as the ideal candidate to succeed Robert Waseige in the national hot-seat.

However he has his critics and has a reputation for organising efficient rather than attractive footballing teams.

He has also recently been criticised by Anderlecht players for forcing them to play too soon after injuries.

Peeters denied that Anderlecht's apparent enthusiasm to part company with Anthuenis was a factor in his appointment.

He said the coach's record made him better qualified than other candidates such as ex-PSV boss Eric Gerets or former international Rene Vandereycken.

Anthuenis is expected to be replaced at Anderlecht by Excelsior Mouscron coach Hugo Broos, who was also a candidate for the national team post.

Waseige, who took over before the European Championships two years ago, is to coach Standard Liege.

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