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Austria coach Hans Krankl has been sacked after the country’s failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup finals, the Austrian football federation has confirmed.

Krankl’s contract will not be extended when it comes up for renewal next month. He has been in charge since replacing Croatian Otto Baric in January 2002.

Austria’s Football Association (OeFB) have already names Rapid Vienna’s Josef Hickersberger as the man they want to replace Krankl.

“I am sure that Josef Hickersberger is the ideal man to prepare the team for the big goal of Euro 2008 at home,” said OeFB chief Friedrich Stickler in a statement.

However, Hickersberger, who was last in charge of Austria 15 years ago, said he was concentrating on Rapid Vienna’s Champions League match against Juventus on Tuesday.

“I am very honoured that several men could imagine me as the new team coach,” the OeFB quoted him as saying.

“I am concentrating on the match against Juventus Turin at the moment.”

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