New manager for Swiss national football team appointed

The archive photo shows Yakin as coach of FC Basel in 2013 ahead of a match against the English team of Chelsea in London. Keystone/Jean-Christophe Bott

Murat Yakin has been named the new manager of Switzerland, replacing Vladimir Petkovic, who left after taking the team to the European Championship quarterfinals in July.

This content was published on August 9, 2021 - 12:30

The 46-year-old Yakin signed a contract until the end of World Cup qualification in November 2022 with the option of an extension, the Swiss Football AssociationExternal link said on Monday.

He joins from Swiss second division club FC Schaffhausen with immediate effect, a statement added. He has less than a month to prepare before three matches in September.

Yakin, a former Swiss captain who won 49 caps, will start against Greece in Basel on September 1 and then face two World Cup qualifying ties against European champions Italy in Basel and Northern Ireland in Belfast within a week.

“Even as a player, the national team was an affair of the heart for me. It is a great honour and pleasure for me to be able to represent our country as manager of the national team. I’m convinced that we will qualify for the World Cup with this great team and celebrate further successes,” he said.

Yakin’s coaching career began in 2006 and includes two Swiss league titles with Basel in 2013 and 2014. While at Basel, his team also managed to beat Chelsea home and away in the group stage of the Champions League in the 2013-14 season.

As a manager, he has worked with eight clubs in Switzerland and in Russia. As a player, the former defensive midfielder was active for clubs in Switzerland, Germany and Turkey.

His predecessor Petkovic stepped down in July after seven years in charge of the Swiss team to join French club Bordeaux.

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