Three African nations bring in new coaches

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Portuguese coach Paulo Duarte has been appointed to take charge of the Burkina Faso national team. He has signed a two-year deal.

Cape Verde has also named a new Portuguese coach, Joao de Deus to take over from Brazilian Ricardo Cordeiro Rocha, who quit his post two months ago.

German mentor Antoine Hey has finally signed his contract with Liberia, weeks after agreeing to take over the role.

Hey had been due to sign earlier this month, but the deal was held up because of problems over finance.

The 38-year-old Duarte says his opening task of helping the Stallions qualify for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola and he admits it will be a difficult task.

“With the quality of teams in Africa at the moment it will be difficult to qualify for Afcon in Angola,” Duarte said.

His first official game in charge of the squad will be in June when they travel to Tunis to play Tunisia. The Stallions will also play Seychelles and Burundi in Group Nine.

De Deus also signed a two-year contract with Cape Verde which starts in June when the 2010 World Cup qualifiers begin.

The Portuguese, who previously worked as the physical trainer, has his competitive game against Gambia in a WC qualifier at the end of May.

They also face Senegal and Algeria in their group.

Meanwhile in Russia, renowned Dutch coach Guus Hiddink signed a new two-year contract to continue coaching Russia until the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Hiddink, (61), who guided Russia to the Euro finals from a tough group that included Croatia and England, had been earning R21-million a year, according to media reports.

His salary package is paid for by Chelsea’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich through his National Academy Fund.