July 4, 2018 / 3:48 PM / 5 months ago

Swiss FA boss says Petkovic's position is not an issue

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic’s job is not at any risk following their disappointing World Cup exit, the head of the country’s football federation (SFV) said on Tuesday.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Round of 16 - Sweden vs Switzerland - Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - July 3, 2018 Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic during the match REUTERS/Henry Romero

Petkovic has a contract until 2020 and SFV president Peter Gillieron, speaking one day after their 1-0 defeat by Sweden in the round of 16, said there was no question of his contract being reviewed.

“I can guarantee that is not an issue,” he told reporters at the team’s training camp in Togliatti. “Vladimir Petkovic has achieved many good things during his time with us.”

“I am disappointed like everyone else but we mustn’t just look on the negative side,” he added. “There were times in the past when we didn’t even qualify for major tournaments.

“We have a team that is among the best in Europe, I know everyone is disappointed but we have to look at the positives.”

Monday’s defeat meant that the Swiss, who last reached the World Cup quarter-finals when they hosted the tournament in 1954, were eliminated at the round of 16 stage for the third major tournament in a row.

Team captain Stephan Lichtsteiner, who sat out the game through suspension, agreed that his team had missed a unique chance.

“We wanted to re-write history and we haven’t done that, we know we have missed a good chance to reach the quarter-finals,” he said.

The Swiss looked strangely lethargic as they were ground down by Sweden and Petkovic’s comments that his team “lacked emotion” raised eyebrows among the Swiss media.

“Sometimes you have days like that,” said Lichtsteiner. “The preparation was good, we had more possession and got into a number of good positions, but sometimes things don’t go your way.”

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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