Youth expert Petrakov replaces Shevchenko as Ukraine coach

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Ukraine's new acting coach Oleksandr Petrakov (centre) led the nation's Under 20 team to victory in the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2019
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Oleksandr Petrakov, who managed Ukraine's youth football team to victory at the Under-20 World Cup in 2019, was named acting coach of the Ukrainian national team on Wednesday.

Petrakov, 64, who has coached various Ukraine youth teams for the past decade, takes over from Andriy Shevchenko, who managed Ukraine for five years and led the team to the Euro 2020 quarter-finals this summer but whose contract expired earlier this month.

The Ukrainian Football Association (UAF) said Wednesday that Petrakov "will prepare the national team for further matches in the 2022 World Cup qualification as acting head coach."

It did not disclose the exact duration of the deal or its financial terms.

"I will do everything in my power to take the team to the World Cup in Qatar," Petrakov said after his appointment.

His first match in charge of Ukraine will be the World Cup qualifier away to Kazakhstan in Nur-Sultan on September 1 before hosting holders France in Kiev three days later.

UAF chief Andriy Pavelko said earlier this month that after Shevchenko's departure he would like to see former Ukrainian striker Sergei Rebrov as the next national team coach.

But Rebrov, the former manager of Dynamo Kiev and Hungarian club Ferencvaros, took over as head coach of Al-Ain from United Arab Emirates in June and it is unclear whether he can terminate the contract.

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