VietNamNet Bridge – Coach Le Huynh Duc will not be taking the driving seat of the national team after a meeting with the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) general secretary Ngo Le Bang.

Bui Xuan Hoa, managing director of Duc's current employer SHB Da Nang, told Viet Nam News yesterday, Jan 10, that Duc would not be able to take charge of the national team.

The position has been vacant since the VFF sacked coach Phan Thanh Hung following a poor performance at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup last year.

"I can confirm that Duc did not turn down the position during the meeting with the VFF, but unfortunately, SHB Da Nang's competition schedule clashes with the national team's," Hoa said.

SHB Da Nang are scheduled to play Sai Gon Xuan Thanh in the Super Cup on February 19, and then host Kien Giang in their V-League curtain-raiser on March 2.

Da Nang will also welcome Ayeyawady United of Myanmar in the first leg of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup on February 27.

The national team are scheduled to play a friendly against South Korea's Hyundai Mipo Dolphin in Ha Noi on January 31 before hosting the United Arab Emirates on February 6.

Viet Nam will then travel to play Hong Kong on March 22.

The VFF wants someone in place by January 15, but is struggling to fill the position.

Khanh Hoa team coach Hoang Anh Tuan turned down the role saying he was not ready to manage the national team, and negotiations broke down with Nguyen Huu Thang from Song Lam Nghe An.

The federation has its eye on Hoang Van Phuc and Mai Duc Chung.

VFF spokesman Nguyen Lan Trung told reporters that as a last resort, they would appoint a caretaker manager next week.

Although the job comes with a monthly salary of VND200 million (US$9,500) and a three-year contract, many see it as a poisoned chalice.

A former coach of the national team said candidates were hesitant because they didn't want to damage their reputations.

"They have time to build a team and achieve success at their local clubs, but the national team job involves forming a team made up of individuals who are trained to play in different styles of football," he said.

"There's also pressure from the media, fans and the VFF when the national team compete at major tournaments, and they can be fired at any time," he added.

The VFF also fired German coach Falko Goetz after poor performance at the 26th Southeast Asian Games in 2011.

Source: VNS