Albania appoint new national coach

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian football federation says it has hired Giovanni De Biasi as the new national team coach.

The 55-year-old Italian replaces Croatian coach Josip Kuze, who left in October after poor results in European Championship qualifying.

Under Kuze, Albania finished next-to-last in Group D with nine points after only two victories in 10 matches, 12 points behind group winner France.

Albania will play Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Cyprus and Island in its qualifying group for the 2014 World Cup.

De Biasi previous coaching jobs include stints with Italian clubs Modena, Brescia, Torino and Udinese.

He has signed a two-year contract with Albania, federation spokesman Lirim Zalla said Wednesday, without giving more details.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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