Jan Kozak becomes Slovakia head coach
July 2, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Slovakia picked former midfielder Jan Kozak as the national team coach on Tuesday after sacking Stanislav Griga and Michal Hipp over poor results in the World Cup qualifying campaign.

"The Slovak Football Association (SFZ) executive board has chosen Jan Kozak as the national team coach from July 2, 2013 until November 11, 2015," SFZ head Jan Kovacik said in a statement.

Kozak, a 59-year-old former midfielder coaching Slovakia's top-flight side MFK Kosice, was part of the Czechoslovakia team that came third at Euro 1980.

He also played at the 1982 World Cup for Czechoslovakia, which split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

In 1981, Kozak won the Czechoslovak footballer of the year title.

As a coach, Kozak led MFK Kosice to league titles in 1997 and 1998, and to the Champions League in 1997.

He also made the headlines in July 2009 when he attacked and injured the rival team's coach during a league game, earning a seven-month ban from football.

Griga and Hipp, both former players, took charge as national coaches in May 2012, but Slovakia have failed to shine under their guidance, having won only two of six games in Group G of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

They were sacked in mid-June after a 1-1 draw in Liechtenstein which all but ended Slovakia's hopes of qualifying directly for Brazil as they trail group leaders Bosnia and Herzegovina by seven points with four games to play.

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