French coach Tigana's fate at China club unclear

13 April 2012 12:47

French football coach Jean Tigana said on Friday he would attend his club Shanghai Shenhua's next game, even though his fate is uncertain after striker Nicolas Anelka was appointed player-coach.

There has been mounting speculation that the former Fulham and Monaco boss faces the axe as head coach of the Chinese team, but Shenhua insisted on Thursday he remained on board while also announcing Anelka had taken on coaching duties.

Shenhua also said it had sacked three assistant coaches picked by Tigana, who was not present at the briefing.

"I was at the (training) camp and I am going to the match," Tigana told AFP by phone, referring to a game between Shenhua and Tianjin Teda that takes place later on Friday.

Speaking earlier on Friday, Tigana said he was unsure about his future with the club.

"I have absolutely nothing to tell you. because I do not know myself," he said. "I am currently waiting for letters from the club. I am not aware of anything."

Shenhua has won only one of their five matches so far this season and the club is now languishing in 11th place in the 16-team Chinese Super League.

A Shenhua official repeated on Friday that Anelka, a former Arsenal and Chelsea star, had been given coaching duties but declined to comment on Tigana.

"Anelka's title is player-coach," said the official, who did not want to be named.

The French striker himself confirmed his new position in a posting on Twitter late Thursday. "It's official. I just become the new player-manager of Shanghai Shenhua," he wrote.

Anelka, the most high-profile foreign footballer to sign for the Chinese league, joined Shenhua with hopes he could boost the performance of the club.

Source: AFP