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Soccer-Petkovic to take over as Switzerland coach after Hitzfeld


Dec 23 (Reuters) - Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic will take over as Switzerland manager when Ottmar Hitzfeld retires from soccer after next year's World Cup finals, the Swiss FA (ASF) said on Monday.

"The successor to Ottmar Hitzfeld as Swiss national team coach is Vladimir Petkovic (50). The present coach of Lazio... signed a contract on Monday with the Swiss Football Association," the ASF said on its website (

Sarajevo-born Petkovic's contract starts on July 1, 2014 and runs until the end of 2015 but it will be extended through Euro 2016 in France if Switzerland qualify for the tournament.

Petkovic will take over a national team that has blossomed under 64-year-old German Hitzfeld to the point where the Swiss are one of the seeds for the 2014 Brazil World Cup. (Reporting by Rex Gowar; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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