Article

Lebanon boss dismisses sack rumours

7 March 2012 09:20

Lebanon coach Theo Bucker has rubbished speculation from earlier this week claiming he would be sacked as coach of the Cedars.

The 63-year-old German successfully guided Lebanon into the fourth and final round of 2014 World Cup qualifying for the first time ever in the nation's history.

However, Lebanon finished off the third round with a poor 4-2 loss away to group whipping boys UAE.

Bucker and captain Roda Antar said after the game they were upset with the close media scrutiny around the team, while the German was criticised for his decision to select Europe-based keeper Abbas Hassan, who made an awful error against UAE, ahead of regular Ziad Samad.

Speculation spread earlier this week that the Lebanese Football Association would dismiss Bucker however he quashed those rumours, before discussing plans for developing the future of the national team, reiterating his commitment to the role.

"Our present situation is this; On Thursday I am flying to Malaysia to attend the draw for the next round," Bucker told The Daily Star. "Then I come back on Saturday or Sunday and by next Monday I will have another meeting with the president (Hashem Haidar)."

"The president has all the understanding with me and agrees with me 100 percent that now based on the achievements of the last six months we should find for Lebanon football the right system of going forward, of implementing a different system."

"So one day after one, after two, after three years (when) I will be out (of the national team) then everything won't collapse, everything will continue."

Bucker's mentor Dettmar Craner set up a similar system in Japan and he's aiming to replicate his success.

The Lebanon boss continued: "What I'm aiming for is to bring a better kind of football education for the federation with the help of foreign coaches, so our coaches can learn something."

However it remains to be seen if the Lebanese FA will agree to Bucker's proposed coaching reforms and there is speculation if they fail to do so, he may walk away from the job.

Speaking to LBC Channel of Lebanon, Bucker also revealed he had been approached by many other parties with job offers.

"I received a lot of offers in the last six months, most notably from a Saudi club," he said.

"But I refused, why? Because I love Lebanon and its people and I have faith in Lebanon football."

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