Libertad coach resigns after winning title

December 11, 2006

ASUNCION, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Libertad coach Gerardo Martino resigned on Monday, one day after his team won the Paraguayan championship.

The Argentine said he had received an offer to coach the Paraguayan national side should Juan Angel Napout replace Oscar Harrison as president of the Paraguayan Football Association (APF).

'I've got a serious offer from Juan Angel Napout and it would be very damaging for Libertad if I were to start the pre-season with them and then leave,' he told reporters.

Martino said he was confident Napout would win the APF election, the date of which has not yet been fixed. 'It's a risk we have to take to avoid damaging Libertad,' he said.

Martino also led Libertad to the semi-finals of this year's South American Libertadores Cup, eliminating Argentina's River Plate on the way, before they were knocked out by eventual champions Internacional of Brazil.

Martino had been favourite to replace Anibal Ruiz in charge of Paraguay after the World Cup until he fell out with Harrison.

Raul Amarilla took over on an interim basis instead, leading his team to a 1-1 draw in Australia and 3-2 defeat in Chile.