Troussier approached over North Korea job

TOKYO - Former Japan coach Philippe Troussier has been contacted by North Korea about coaching the their team at next year's World Cup, the Frenchman told Japanese media on Thursday.

As well as guiding Japan to the last 16 at the 2002 World Cup, Troussier's long career has included spells as the coach of Nigeria, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Morocco.

"There has been contact but nothing has been finalised so I cannot comment yet," the 54-year-old told the Nikkan Sports newspaper.

"However, I am open to taking on the challenges of Asian countries. I have experience in Asia. These experiences can be brought to the team. If I could coach at the 2010 World Cup, it would be a wonderful adventure."

Troussier has also been linked to a return to Nigeria to mastermind the West African country's World Cup campaign.

The report said he had planned to travel from Japan to North Korea on Monday of this week but had run into problems getting a visa.

North Korea face an uphill struggle to get through the opening group stage in South Africa having been pooled with Brazil, Portugal and the Ivory Coast for only their second World Cup finals campaign.

North Korea reached the quarter-finals of the 1966 tournament.