The Hague (AFP) – The search for a new Netherlands coach after the sacking of Danny Blind appeared in further disarray Wednesday as Henk ten Cate revealed he had turned the job down.
Ten Cate, the current trainer of UAE’s Al Jazira, told the Dutch daily De Telegraaf: “I was offered the job on Monday. But in the end I decided not to do it.”
“If you accept such a responsible job — to me the most honourable in Dutch football — it is essential that the whole organisation is behind it, or it will not be a success,” he told the paper.
At the weekend, he revealed that he had long talks Saturday in an Abu Dhabi hotel with Hans van Breukelen, the technical director of the Dutch football federation (KNVB).
Blind was sacked as Netherlands coach on March 26 after a 2-0 defeat to Bulgaria that left the team’s chances of reaching the World Cup finals hanging by the slenderest of threads.
The loss in Sofia put the Dutch in fourth place in qualifying Group A, trailing six points behind leaders France.
The Netherlands, three times the World Cup runners-up, also failed to qualify for the Euro 2016.
Ten Cate, 62, a former manager for Amsterdam Ajax and Greek team Panathinaikos, said he believed the Dutch could “still qualify for the World Cup in Russia.” The next qualifying match is on June 9 against Luxembourg.
And he wished Van Breukelen “every success in his quest for a new coach.”
Breukelen said Tuesday that he hoped to present the new coach in the next few days. He is also said to be in talks with Dick Advocaat, 69, the current coach of Istanbul’s Fenerbahce.
The Dutch national team is facing two coming friendlies, against Morocco on May 31 and the Ivory Coast on June 4.