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Hearts hire Uganda boss Laszlo

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 11 Jul 2008

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Scottish Premier League club Hearts appointed Uganda coach Csaba Laszlo as their new manager on Friday.

Romanian-born Laszlo, 44, agreed a three-year contract and will work with Hearts' sporting director Anatoly Korobochka on all first team matters.

Hearts secured the former boss of German side Borussia Monchengladbach and Hungary's Ferencvaros after negotiating compensation believed to be worth around 120,000 pounds (150,000 euros) with the Ugandan FA.

A statement on the club's website confirmed Laszlo's arrival at Tynecastle as owner Vladimir Romanov's eighth boss: “Heart of Midlothian Football Club is delighted to today (11th July) announce the appointment of Csaba Laszlo as manager with immediate effect.”

Laszlo, who will travel with the squad to Northern Ireland for their pre-season friendly against Glentoran next week, was given a warm send-off by Lawrence Mulindwa, the Ugandan FA president.

He led Uganda from 167th to 97th in the FIFA world rankings, with the highlight of his reign a victory over Nigeria during African Nations Cup qualifying.

Uganda now sit two points behind group leaders Benin as they bid to reach the next stage of the World Cup qualifiers.

“He brought more professionalism and consistency to the team here,” Mulindwa told the Scotsman. “In our last campaign, we only missed out on qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana on goal difference.

“That was a big thing in this country. Laszlo has tried his level best, he has been co-operative and adaptable. Managing an African team is not easy because there are lots of issues you must overcome.

“If he can use that experience he can easily manage a team in northern Europe. All the facilities are there, he can get anything he wants. That is not the case in Uganda.”

Laszlo will be well known to Hearts fans after his bizarre clash with then Tynecastle head coach John Robertson during a UEFA Cup tie between Ferencvaros and the Edinburgh club in 2004.

He claimed Robertson kicked him after the match, while the Hearts boss said his opposite number had stood on his foot and he was trying to free himself.

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