|File Photo of Alain Perrin|
Widespread gossip that Italian coach Marcello Lippi would take over the Chinese national team after his stint with Guangzhou Evergrande was dismissed when the Chinese Football Association announced the new coach on Wednesday.
Former top French league club manager Alain Perrin has been appointed the new head coach of the national squad, Yu Hongchen, vice-president of CFA, confirmed on Wednesday.
Perrin, 57, recently finalized a three-year contract with CFA, which started its coach recruitment last June after firing Spanish coach Jose Antonio Camacho following a humiliating 5-1 loss to the Thailand youth team, Yu said.
Yu didn't release any detailed terms of Perrin's contract with CFA, but Chinese media reported his annual salary will be less than $1 million, almost a quarter of Camacho's lucrative 2.8 million euros ($3.84 million).
After managing French Ligue 1 clubs Marseille (2002-2004) and Lyon (2007-2008), Perrin began his Asian coaching career in 2010, shifting coaching roles among three west Asian clubs and the Qatar Olympic squad over the next three years.
His rich knowledge of Asian soccer and relatively low salary were considered edges to knock out potential competitors, such as Lippi and fellow Frenchman Pierre Lechantre, said a report on web portal 163.com.
According to Yu, Perrin will join the national team at its Qingyuan training base in Guangdong province on Thursday and fly with the squad to Dubai to watch the decisive final preliminary match against Iraq for the 2015 Asia Cup, which will still be overseen by acting coach Fu Bo.
According to an online poll on sina.com, 77 percent of a total 2,523 respondents by Wednesday afternoon said it was “improper” to announce the coach replacement before such a crucial match.