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Sunday, 16 June, 2002, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK

Jozic to step down

Croatia coach Mirko Jozic will step down once his contract with the national team expires at the end of July.

Croatia failed to qualify for the second round of the World Cup in South Korea and Japan, although Jozic said he would have retired whatever the outcome in the competition.

In the end, Croatia needed a win against Ecuador in their final group game to qualify.

They lost that game 1-0 and finished third in their group behind Mexico and Italy.

"My contract expires on 31 July and after that I will withdraw from the position of the coach," Jozic told the Sportske Novosti newspaper.

Speculation has already begun about his successor with former Austrian coach Otto Baric or Rijeka coach Zlatko Kranjcar being mentioned.


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