Gao Hongbo returned as interim coach of the Chinese men’s national football team following the departure of Frenchman Alain Perrin last month.
Gao will take the helm for China’s next two World Cup qualifiers while the search for a permanent coach continues, the official Chinese Football Association said on its website. Gao led the team from 2009 to 2011.
China, third in its qualifying group for Russia in 2018, faces the Maldives at home on March 24 and Qatar on March 29. In front of it are Qatar and tiny Hong Kong, against which it has only managed two draws.
Hired in February 2015 after a lengthy search to replace Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho, former Lyon boss Perrin left over what the CFA said were concerns over his about to deliver what China’s needs to qualify for the World Cup along with the team’s future development.
Under Perrin, China won all three of its group stage games in last year’s Asian Cup to reach the knock-out round for the first time in 11 years, before being eliminated by eventual winner Australia.
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