BERN: Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic has signed a two-year contract extension as reward for a perfect record in World Cup qualifying. The Swiss football federation says Petkovic was contacted by clubs after the team’s rise to No. 4 in the FIFA rankings. The statement did not identify clubs wanting to hire Petkovic. Petkovic’s team has won six straight qualifying games, starting with a 2-0 win over European champion Portugal when Cristiano Ronaldo was still recovering from an injury sustained in the final.
Portugal hosts Switzerland on Oct. 10 in a potentially decisive final group game. Only the group winner qualifies direct to play in Russia and the runner-up enters the playoffs. Petkovic’s new contract runs through Euro 2020 qualifying. The Bosnia-born coach succeeded Ottmar Hitzfeld after the 2014 World Cup.