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By ESPN Staff
Jan 24, 2006

Eriksson to vacate post after World Cup

England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson believes the focus should now be on the World Cup this summer after confirming he will leave his post after the tournament in Germany.

Eriksson's indiscreet comments to a 'Fake Sheikh' Sunday newspaper journalist have indirectly led to him announcing his departure, although he insists discussions about departing before his contract expires in 2008 had already taken place.

Football Association officials will look for Eriksson's replacement, while the manager will be linked to other jobs - but the Swede insists his focus is on the World Cup.

He told a press conference: 'Now there's been an agreement and we have to look at the World Cup and concentrate on that.

'At the moment this is the most important thing because we have a chance to win it. Let us not spoil that.

'There will be a lot of rumours that's for sure, every time a club is losing my name will crop up.

'I will not listen to other clubs and countries when there is football going on in England.'

Eriksson added: 'We always had discussions about after the World Cup in 2006, we had a private agreement that - to a certain point - I was allowed to leave after the World Cup. It's been very open.

'I've been asked to win the World Cup and after that I've been asked to look after my life.'

Eriksson described the Sunday newspaper story as a 'scandal' and suggested it was difficult for the national team manager to concentrate on his job in England.

'I'm not allowed to speak about that because it's a legal action but 'scandal', that's what I think about it,' he said.

'I think it could only happen in this country, that's for sure.'

He added: 'It's better to have a job with a lot of pressure than one without pressure but I did get fed up with reading about my private life and I think people got fed up with reading about my private life.

'We should talk about football but, unfortunately, it's difficult in this country.'

Asked if he intended to look for work with an English club after the World Cup, he said: 'I have absolutely no idea. The only thing I know for sure is that I don't want to claim my pension yet. I don't have any offers at all.

'In football, you don't look for jobs - you are asked.'

And he dismissed the idea that the controversy would be detrimental to England's World Cup campaign.

'If you talk about myself, my coaches, the players, the players couldn't care less about it.

'I spoke to many of the players and they don't care.'

Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick appeared alongside Eriksson at Soho Square today.

Barwick continued on Sky Sports News: 'I am giving Sven an opportunity to take the best England side to a World Cup since 1966.

'It's my way of saying I have great confidence in his ability to deliver for us.

'I get on with Sven very well. The very fact he is sitting here suggests that is the case.

'It is important England go to the World Cup properly backed to win it.'

As for who might succeed Eriksson, Barwick added: 'It's not been top of my agenda in the last 24 hours.

'Today is about clarification about what's happened.'

Eriksson revealed he told England captain David Beckham yesterday that he would be leaving the post after the World Cup.

'I felt I had to speak to my captain,' said the Swede, who said Beckham had said 'I'm sorry' in reply.

Eriksson admitted he would miss his job when he departs, adding: 'It's been, so far, five fantastic years. I hope the best will come.

'I understand it, after five years people - sometimes myself - are fed up with everything not to do with football.'

Eriksson insisted he would not reconsider his decision if England win the World Cup.

'If we win the World Cup - thank you and goodbye,' he added.

Barwick sympathised with the intense focus that came with Eriksson's job.

'Until you sit where Sven sits, the profile of the job is unimaginable and with it the newsworthy value follows it,' Barwick said.