Batista set to succeed Maradona as Argentine coach | sports | Hindustan Times
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Batista set to succeed Maradona as Argentine coach

sports Updated: Nov 02, 2010 09:48 IST

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Sergio Batista met with a selection committee and is poised to succeed Diego Maradona as Argentina's national team coach.

The Argentina Football on Monday said Batista answered questions from committee members - made up of first-division club owners - and was poised to be named the new coach on Tuesday. AFA president Julio Grondona, who appointed Maradona two years ago, will have the final say in selecting Batista.

Batista has been the interim coach since Maradona was dropped just weeks after Argentina was defeated 4-0 by Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals.

Naming Batista on Tuesday appears to be a formality.

He led Argentina to the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics and, since taking over the national team, has won two of three matches including a 4-1 victory over World Cup champion Spain. The only stumble was a 1-0 loss last month against Japan.

Maradona had a chance to continue as coach, but he declined to drop several of his assistant coaches - a condition called for by Grondona. His contract was not renewed. In recent interviews Maradona has suggested he might be willing to hire new assistants, but he seems to have backed down too late.

Maradona won 18 of 24 matches as coach but his team stumbled to several humiliating losses including a 6-1 hammering against Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier

Batista's first game as the permanent replacement would be against archrival Brazil on November 17 in Doha, Qatar.