Mexico job was political minefield says Eriksson

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) -- Sven-Goran Eriksson said his ill-fated year in charge of the Mexican national side had taught him to steer well clear of any job which is politically-charged.

The Swede, who is preparing to lead Ivory Coast to the World Cup after being appointed at the end of March, was fired by Mexico last April after a 3-1 defeat in Honduras left El Tri in danger of failing to qualify for South Africa.

He was replaced by Javier Aguirre, who led the Mexicans at the 2002 World Cup, and guided them through the rest of the qualifiers,.

Former England coach Eriksson said that half the board of the Mexican federation was against him before he even started.

"I don't think I learned very much from Mexico, it's a lot of politics," he told a small gathering of reporters after a training session.

"What I learned is don't take a job where politics are that important.

"As you know, they always wanted Aguirre before they appointed me and they told me that.

"So, I knew that before. And in Mexican football, the board of the federation consists of the owners of the (18) first division football clubs and that makes it a little bit complicated.

"I had half of them against me before I even started."

Critics warned before Eriksson's appointment that he would not have time to learn about the idiosyncrasies of Mexican football, nor the difficult playing conditions in Central America and the Caribbean.

Mexican suffered a series of poor results away from home under Eriksson, including defeats in Jamaica and two in Honduras.

Eriksson was baffled at being criticized for the number of naturalized players he picked, replying that he was merely following the rules.

"When Aguirre was sacked at Atletico Madrid and we lost to Honduras away, that was it, unfortunately," he said.

"Maybe it was good. Now I'm sitting here, going to the World Cup anyhow, with a very good football team, maybe better than Mexico, so I'm happy, very happy."

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