Ukraine news

Blokhin extends Ukraine deal

Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin has agreed a new two-year contract

Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin has agreed a new two-year contract to remain in the role until after the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Football Federation of Ukraine confirmed the extension after holding an executive meeting. FFU president Grigoriy Surkis told the official website: ''The FFU are working to give the national team everything it needs. This is no small task.

''Blokhin, of course, is never completely happy. At the moment, he has a lot of key players injured. He is an optimist by nature and sets his goals accordingly. I hope his side will surprise us at Euro 2012, with both performances and results.''

The 59-year-old took up the Ukraine reins for a second time in April 2011. Ukraine beat Uzbekistan in the first match of Blokhin's second spell, then lost their next four games but have since picked up again with three wins and a draw in their last four fixtures.

The Euro 2012 co-hosts will take on Sweden, France and England in Group D at this summer's tournament, and find themselves up against England again, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland and San Marino in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Blokhin previously coached the team from 2003 to 2007, overseeing a run to the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The FFU also announced former referee Pierluigi Collina has been handed a contract extension to remain in his post as Ukrainian referees' supervisor until summer 2015.

© PA

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