ASUNCION, July 28 (Reuters) – Paraguay, virtually out of the running for a place at the 2014 World Cup finals, have promoted youth coach Victor Genes to take charge of the team until the end of the qualifiers in October.
Genes replaces Uruguayan Gerardo Pelusso, who quit in June after a 2-1 defeat by Chile in Asuncion left Paraguay bottom of the South American group with eight points from 12 matches.
Genes, whose youth team played at the recent Under-20 World Cup in Turkey, is Paraguay’s third coach in the qualifying campaign for the finals in Brazil.
Paraguay reached the last four tournaments and achieved their best ever result when they reached the quarter-finals for the first time in South Africa in 2010 under Argentine Gerardo Martino, now coach of Barcelona.
“To speak of the career of Victor Genes is to talk about a coach who has achieved everything … He is taking on the challenge for that reason and knows he is putting his career on the line because it comes at a very difficult time,” Paraguayan Football Association (APF) vice-president Alejandro Dominguez told reporters.
Genes, 52, will make his debut in the new role in a friendly against Germany in Kaiserslautern on Aug. 14 before two qualifiers at home to Bolivia and Argentina in September.
Paraguay are 18 points behind leaders Argentina and eight outside the qualifying places with four matches to go. The top four teams go through to the finals and the fifth-placed nation will feature in a play-off with an Asian side for another berth.
Genes has previous World Cup experience as assistant to Uruguayan Sergio Markarian in the qualifiers for the 2002 finals and Italian Cesare Maldini at the Korea/Japan tournament itself. (Reporting by Daniela Desantis; Writing by Rex Gowar in London, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)