H SANTIAGO, July 27 (Reuters) - Jose Sulantay, who steered Chile to third place in the World Youth Cup last week, looked set on Friday to take charge of his country’s senior team.
Sulantay told a news conference he would consider the Chilean Football Association’s offer over the weekend before making an announcement on Tuesday.
Chile have been looking for a replacement for Uruguayan-born Nelson Acosta, who quit on July 10 after Chile’s poor performance at the Copa America in Venezuela, which culminated in a 6-1 quarter-final thrashing by eventual champions Brazil.
Sulantay said he was not afraid of making the step up less than two months before the start of the qualifying competition for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“If I thought like that, I would have said no already and gone home, but I’m used to defeats, wins and draws,” said Sulantay, whose Chile under-20 team lost to eventual champions Argentina in the World Youth Cup semi-finals in Canada.
Former Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa and Colo Colo’s Argentine trainer Claudio Borghi had been among the other candidates for the job.
If he takes over, Sulantay will inherit a team ridden by internal bickering and disciplinary problems.
Earlier this month, six players, including playmaker Jorge Valdivia, were banned for 20 international matches by the Chilean association following an incident at the team hotel during the Copa America.
Full backs Alvaro Ormeno and Rodrigo Tello, defenders Jorge Vargas and Pablo Contreras and striker Reinaldo Navia were the other suspended players.
Chile last qualiied for the World Cup in 1998 with an attack spearheaded by Ivan Zamorano and Marcelo Salas.