Sermanni rules out new
by The Age, Australia
FOOTBALL Federation Australia has moved to re-sign Matildas coach Tom Sermanni on a long-term contract after the affable Scotsman ruled himself out of consideration for the prestigious job of coach of the US women's soccer team.
The federation hopes to gain Sermanni's signature to ensure he takes charge of Australia's elite women players through to the 2011 World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics.
Sermanni has had tremendous success since taking charge of the Matildas almost three years ago.
In this year's women's World Cup in China, the team won a finals match for the first time and pushed eventual runner-up Brazil all the way in the quarter-finals, losing 3-2 in an epic contest.
"We are delighted that Tom will remain in Australian football, where his vast knowledge and experience will be vital as we look to continue to build the women's game in this country," FFA chief executive officer Ben Buckley said.
"Tom has been an integral part of the Matildas' success, where his passion and understanding of the women's game in Australia is unparalleled."
Australian Institute of Sport director Professor Peter Fricker welcomed the continuity Sermanni's decision to re-sign will bring to the sport's development.
"Tom has been instrumental in the success of the Matildas and the AIS women's football program since taking over three years ago," Fricker said.
"It says a lot about the future of Australian women's football that Tom has elected to stay in Australia despite offers from overseas."
Soccer fans who don't have pay-television will be able to see some crucial Euro 2008 games live after SBS clinched a limited broadcast package of eight matches, including the opening game and the final.
The broadcaster also will show a daily highlights program, match replays and a Road to Euro 2008 preview series.
SBS Radio will broadcast matches in languages of the participating nations in addition to English, with daily updates, interviews and live crosses in most language programs.
The network also will broadcast the World Club Championship final from Yokohama, Japan, on December 16.
French great Zinedine Zidane may have retired from competitive soccer, but he and his 1998 World Cup-winning teammates will be getting together to play two friendly matches against Tahiti and New Caledonia next May.
Zidane, Emmanuel Petit, Sylvain Wiltord, Fabian Barthez and Laurent Blanc will play in matches to honour Tahitian-born France international Pascal Vaihirua and Christian Karembeu, a French international who was born on the New Caledonian island of Lifou.