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Macedonia coach Ilievski signs four-year contract

© Reuters 2002

SOFIA, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Macedonia coach Nikola Ilievski has signed a four-year contract despite threats to quit claiming that the Macedonian Football Union (MFU) had neglected the national side.

Ilievski's contract will expire on December 31, 2005, and his monthly salary will be 1,500 euros, a MFU official said on Friday.

Ilievski, 48, took over last month in place of Gjore Jovanovski who resigned in December 2001 after Macedonia failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup finals.

"I signed the contract on Wednesday as I was pleased with a promise of the MFU management that no one would interfere in my work as some officials were trying to do before," the 48-year-old coach told Reuters on Friday.

"If MFU meets all my requirements and ensures good conditions for the squad including good pay for the players I can guarantee good performance of our side," Ilievski added.

Macedonia, led by Ilievski, held England to a shock 2-2 draw last week and lost 2-1 to Turkey in Euro 2004 Group Seven qualifiers.

Macedonia lie third in the standings with two points behind Turkey and England, but the MFU has promised bonuses of 10,000 euros to each player for the draw in England and another 3,000 for their good performance against Turkey.
(C) Reuters Limited 2002.

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