Struggling Real Betis appoint Fernandez as coach

December 27, 2006

MADRID, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Struggling Primera Liga side Real Betis have appointed Luis Fernandez as coach, the club said on Wednesday.

The 47-year-old former France international, who replaces Javier Irureta, will be presented to the media at 1200 GMT on Thursday, Betis said on their website.

Fernandez has coached at Paris St Germain, Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao among others. While at PSG he led them to victory in the Cup Winners' Cup final in 1996.

With Betis, he will be expected to reverse the fortunes of a club placed 18th in the 20-team league.

His predecessor Irureta, who had only been in the post six months, threw in the towel after winning just three of 15 league matches, although they are still in the King's Cup which they won in 2005.

The Andalucian club had been linked with former France coach Jacques Santini and the club's former sporting director Faruk Hadzibegic.