Marco van Basten

Amsterdam, Aug 30 (IANS) Marco van Basten is leaving his post as assistant coach of the Netherlands’ national team to join the world football governing body FIFA, the Dutch football association KNVB announced on Tuesday.

The 51-year-old van Basten will stay on as assistant of current head coach Danny Blind until the KNVB finds a successor, but until no later than the last World Cup qualifier of this year on November 13 away against Luxembourg, reports Xinhua.

“FIFA has approached me to work for them,” Van Basten said in a press release by the KNVB.

“The association is on the verge of renewal and reform of football and wants to make use of my ideas and views on matters such as rules, regulations and programming. I am honoured they asked me.”

“Of course I am not happy,” Netherlands coach Blind said.

“But the job suits Marco like no other. He deserves this chance. He has meant a lot to football and through FIFA he can be of great value to the future of our football.”

The departure of Van Basten means Blind has to look for two new assistants now. On July 1 this year Ruud van Nistelrooy left and his successor Dick Advocaat quit two weeks ago to join Turkish club Fenerbahce as head coach.

Ruud Gullit was the main candidate to succeed Advocaat as the new assistant, but the Dutch great, a team-mate of van Basten in 1988, cancelled the deal last Friday.

On Monday, Bert van Oostveen announced his departure as director of professional football at the KNVB from September 1. He will be succeeded by Gijs de Jong.

The Dutch national team will play against Greece on September 1 in Eindhoven and start the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign five days later against Sweden in Solna, Sweden.

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