Football: Tigana favourite to coach France

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The Independent Online
JEAN TIGANA, the Monaco coach, whose side knocked Manchester United out of the European Cup, is almost certain to take charge of France after the World Cup.

Aime Jacquet, the current national coach, leaves in the summer and Tigana is expected to be named next month. Tigana recently agreed to remain at Monaco until 2002, but the contract has not yet been signed.

"Everyone is in favour of Tigana," Claude Simonet, president of the French Football Federation, said yesterday.

Tigana's departure is certain to restart speculation that Glenn Hoddle, the England coach, will take over at Monaco, where he spent three seasons as a player in the late 1980s. However, Hoddle is under contract with England until the European Championships in 2000 and has consistently denied any approach from the Cote d'Azur.

Bristol City were promoted back to the First Division yesterday without kicking a ball in anger after Grimsby, who needed to win to keep in touch with the runaway Second Division leaders, could only draw 1-1 at Wycombe Wanderers.

Jack Lester's last-minute equaliser earned the Mariners a point, but they needed three to keep the Robins waiting until today's game at Chesterfield. Keith Scott had given Wycombe a 17th-minute lead and they looked destined for all three points until Lester levelled.

Lower division clubs with small playing staffs who sometimes struggle to field just 11 men will smile wryly at Gianluca Vialli's demand that the Premier League allow two extra substitutes on the bench.

"I honestly believe we should have seven subs in the Premier League, the same as in European matches and in Italy," the Chelsea player-manager said. "That way I can involve more players in important games and give youngsters the chance to learn some experience by being on the bench."

France's Patrick Valery, Anders Andersson of Sweden and Norwegian Tore Pedersen are to ask to be allowed to leave Blackburn as they are unhappy at not getting regular first-team football.