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4. WOMEN: Mystery surrounding China coach
January 23rd, 2007 12:01AM



With the Four Nations Tournament beginning Friday in Guangzhou, the big mystery in China concerns the status of women's national team coach Ma Liangyu.

Speculation is rife that Ma will be replaced by a foreign coach, perhaps women's national team technical adviser Eckhard Krautzun, the former NASL and Canada national team coach.

Ma has failed to attend the Steel Roses' training camp before the Four Nations Tournament , which features defending World Cup champion Germany, the USA and England as well as China, host of the 2007 Women's World Cup in September.

"Is he really sick, or is he faking it?" China's Soccer Daily asked in a headline story on Ma's disappearance. "Is his heart sick or does he have heart disease?"

Ma, who was reported to be in his hometown of Shanghai, has been under fire since China lost to japan in the semifinals of the Asian Games in December.

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