Cologne sack coach, offer job to Daum

November 9, 2006

BERLIN, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Cologne, relegated to the second division this season, sacked their coach Hanspeter Latour on Thursday and said they had offered the job to former Fenerbahce coach Christoph Daum.

Daum, who was prevented from taking up his appointment as Germany coach in 2000 after testing positive for cocaine, asked for time to think about the offer, Cologne's director of football Michael Meier told a news conference.

Cologne, three times Bundesliga champion, fell to the second division for the fourth time at the end of last season and sold their top player, striker Lukas Podolski, to Bayern Munich in the off season.

Latour, who was hired on Jan. 3, 2006 but could not prevent the relegation, was sacked after the club fell to eighth place in the second division with 15 points from 11 matches. They were beaten by Erzgebirge Aue on Wednesday at home 1-0.

'I explained Cologne's situation to him,' Meier said, referring to a meeting with Daum in a Cologne hospital. He said Daum, recovering from an operation on his throat, could not talk but listened to his offer and asked for time to think about it.

Daum, who steered VfB Stuttgart to the Bundesliga title in 1992, became Germany's trainer-elect in 2000 but was discarded after testing positive for cocaine. The job went to Rudi Voeller. Daum also coached Cologne from 1986 to 1990.

Daum's cocaine trial ended in May 2002 when the proceedings were dropped after he agreed to pay a fine. He had faced up to five years in jail on charges of conspiring to purchase 100 grammes of cocaine and illegally using the drug 63 times.

His name emerged again as a possible candidate to succeed Voeller after Euro 2004 but he said then that he was not available and intended to remain at Fenerbahce.