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Banned Indonesia wants Mourinho to train national team

Last updated on: May 10, 2016 18:08 IST

Jose Mourinho

Indonesia wants former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho to train its beleaguered national football team, the country's sports minister said on Tuesday.

Minister Imam Nahrawi said he had discussed the idea with President Joko Widodo, who is trying to revive Indonesian football after years of underperformance.

"This idea has been discussed... even though it's not easy," Nahrawi said, according to state news agency Antara.

He added the government had also discussed hiring interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink.

FIFA last year banned Indonesia from international football, citing government interference in the sport.

The government had refused to withdraw their demands that local football association (PSSI) block two clubs from taking part in the top flight domestic league, because of concerns about their ownership.

The PSSI stood firm but the league was halted after two rounds and eventually cancelled after the government stepped in.

One of the world's most successful coaches, Mourinho said last month that while he had not signed a contract with anybody, he expects to be back in football in time for the start of next season.

"I'm in a position to be open to any club, to any national team, but to be honest if possible I'd like a club, and analyse and think what's best for my career and to be back with everything I have," he said.

Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December after the Premier League champions started the season with nine defeats in their first 16 matches.

The 53-year-old, who has also coached Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Porto, has been strongly tipped in media reports to take over from Louis van Gaal at Manchester United next season.

Indonesia, ranked 185th in the FIFA world rankings, are one of four countries vying to host the 2023 Asian Cup despite the FIFA ban.

This is not the first unusual managerial offer thrown in Mourinho's direction. The former Chelsea and Porto coach was also approached by war-torn Syria to manage their football team. 

Mourinho confirmed he had rejected an offer from the Syrian FA to coach their national team.

"The Syrian one is true because they published the letter that they sent to my agent (Jorge Mendes) ... but in a very respectful way we told them we were not interested in that job," he said.

Image: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

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