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By ESPN Staff
Apr 6, 2006

Saudi Arabia deny Milutinovic link

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian team manager Sahad Al Museibih has denied a report that globe-hopping coach Bora Milutinovic could lead the team at the World Cup in Germany.

Dubai media reported last week that Serb Milutinovic was being wooed by Saudi Arabia, who recently appointed Brazilian Marcos Paqueta to replace sacked Argentine Gabriel Calderon.

'It's absolute nonsense,' Al Museibih told Reuters by telephone. 'I don't know where this story comes from. It's just nonsense.'

The Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) has a history of showing little patience with its national coaches.

Calderon helped the team qualify for Germany but SAFF said it was unhappy with his preparation plans for the finals.

Paqueta had just won the Saudi league and cup double with Al Hilal, having led the Brazilian under-17 and under-20 teams to world titles.

Saudi Arabia lost 2-1 at home to Poland last week, continuing a series of disappointing results under Paqueta, which included a 3-0 loss to Portugal on March 1.

When asked if SAFF was happy with Paqueta, Al Museibih said: 'Yes, of course.'

At the World Cup, Saudi Arabia are in Group H with Spain, Ukraine and Tunisia.

Milutinovic has coached a record five countries at the World Cup finals - China (2002), Nigeria (1998), United States (1994), Costa Rica (1990) and Mexico (1986).