Dinamo Zagreb appoint Ivankovic as coach

November 6, 2006

ZAGREB, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Croatia champions Dinamo Zagreb have appointed former Iran manager Croat Branko Ivankovic as coach, state news agency Hina reported on Monday.

Ivankovic replaces Josip Kuze, who agreed with the club management to step down earlier on Monday.

Although no formal contract has been signed, Ivankovic is expected to remain in charge until mid-2008, club sources said.

"Neither Ivankovic nor Dinamo have insisted on the formal and detailed contract. Our cooperation will depend on the results. Our main goal is to take part in the European competitions next season," Hina quoted Dinamo spokesman Ado Kozul as saying.

Kuze, who took over in 2005, won the title with Dinamo last season but then failed qualify for the Champions League.

Croatian media started speculating that Kuze would have to leave after Dinamo lost to French side Auxerre in September, failing once again to qualify for the UEFA Cup group stage.

Dinamo top the national championship with 32 points from 13 matches, the same as rivals Hajduk Split.