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Hefty pay-off deters Belgium from sacking Wilmots

sportspaper Updated: Jul 07, 2016, 11:34 IST

BRUSSELS: A pay-off of at least one million euros ($1.11 million) for Belgium football manager Marc Wilmots could be a problem and the national federation does not have the means to hire a big name to replace him, the federation’s head said.

“The indemnity for Marc Wilmots is at least one million euros,” Belgian football chief executive Gerard Linard said in an interview which appeared in several Belgian newspapers.

“That’s a problem for the federation as we do not have the same budget as France, Spain or Germany.”

Wilmots’s future was cast into doubt after Belgium, second in FIFA’s world rankings, dropped out of Euro 2016 by losing 3-1 to Wales in the quarterfinals, with critics saying he had failed to capitalise on a gifted generation of players led by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.

Linard said no decision on the future of Wilmots would be made until next week.

He was quick to dampen suggestions that Belgium would sign an internationally renowned manager such as Dutchman Louis van Gaal.

“I believe an internationally renowned name such as van Gaal is not affordable for the Belgian federation... unless the manager in question makes some real concessions,” he said.

After Belgium’s ouster, Wilmots had refused to step down despite fans calling for his resignation.

“I’ll take a bit of a holiday,” he said on being asked about his Belgium future. “I won’t make a decision when the adrenaline’s pumping. I need some time to think.”

While the media in Belgium had joined the chorus calling for his head, players like goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois too suggested that they were less than convinced by the coach’s abilities.

Wilmots however said, “Our strategy was good... I didn’t stop shouting at my players to move forward. We have a problem of communication. I am not a magician,” he said of Belgium’s match against Wales.

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