Latvia names Stojanovic as new coach

Latvia names Stojanovic as new coach
FILE PHOTO: Slovenia's head coach Slavisa Stojanovic looks on before his team international friendly soccer match against the U.S. in Ljubljana November 15, 2011. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic -
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(Reuters) - Latvia has appointed former Slovenia boss Slavisa Stojanovic as its new head coach three weeks before the start of their European Championship qualifying campaign, the Latvian Football Federation (LFF) said on Friday.

Sources close to the process told Reuters in January that Stojanovic, then coach of the Bulgarian club Levski Sofia, has agreed to join the Baltic country's national team.

Stojanovic led Domzale to the Slovenian league title in 2007 and 2008 and Red Star Belgrade to the Serbian league title in 2014. He has also coached clubs in Belgium, China and Latvia and worked as the United Arab Emirates' assistant coach between 2009 and 2011.

The 49-year-old, who signed a three-year contract, will replace former Finland coach Mixu Paatelainen, who left at the end of his contract in December.

"Stojanovic was our first candidate, our priority in the search for the head coach," the LFF president Kaspars Gorkss said.

Latvia are in Group G of the Euro 2020 qualifying phase alongside Poland, Austria, Israel, Slovenia and Macedonia.

Latvia, who have not qualified for the finals of a major tournament since their only appearance at a European Championship in 2004, visit Macedonia on March 21 in their first qualifier and Poland three days later.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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