Former France coach steps in at Zamalek

December 27, 2006

CAIRO, Dec 27 (Reuters) - French coach Henri Michel has taken a short-term contract with Egypt's Zamalek after the club had a last-minute change of heart over a new trainer.

Michel, recently fired after a brief coaching spell in Qatar, will remain with the club until the end of the season in June.

He was named as coach on Wednesday days after Zamalek officials said Serbian Zoran Filipovic would succeed Portuguese Manuel Cajuda, who was fired this month after a run of poor form.

Filipovic attended a training session with the club but was then told Zamalek's board of directors had changed had its mind and would appoint Michel instead.

The former French captain and coach was in charge of the Ivory Coast at this year's World Cup finals. He took his native France to the 1986 World Cup finals in Mexico and Cameroon to the 1994 finals in the United States. In 1998 he was in charge of Morocco at the World Cup finals in France. Michel also worked as national team coach of Tunisia.

Michel's first game in charge of Zamalek will be in Saturday's Cairo derby against champions and arch-rivals Al Ahli. Za,malek have been seeking to emerge from the shadow of their rivals in recent seasons.