Germany's Fanz to coach Cuban football squad free of charge

Campaign News | Monday, 4 February 2008

Cuba will not pay their new soccer coach, Reinhold Fanz of Germany, as he takes on the daunting task of leading them to the 2010 World Cup finals.

The Cuban Soccer Association said on Monday Fanz was loaned by German lower-league side Bonner SC. Cuba will only cover his living and travel expenses.

Fanz, 54, will start training Cuba in March. The former Fortuna Dusseldorf player has had spells coaching Bundesliga clubs Hannover 96 and Eintracht Frankfurt, but has never before coached a national team.

Cuba is 71 in the FIFA rankings and has not reached the World Cup finals since 1938, when it was ousted 8-0 by Sweden in the quarterfinals.

"Nothing is impossible," Cuban Soccer Association president Luis Hernandez said of the team's prospects at a news conference, as they defeated Haiti 4-0 in a friendly match.

Cuba is as good as Trinidad and Tobago, which qualified for the last World Cup, Hernandez said.

"This has to be our opportunity," he said.

Fanz will take the Cuban team to train in Germany and Austria later this spring.

Past Cuban coaches included a North Korean, a Hungarian and a Peruvian. (Reporting by Esteban Israel, editing by Alan Elsner)

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