Zagreb - Ante Cacic has been appointed coach of the Croatian national football team with the objective of assuring qualification for Euro 2016 next summer.
Cacic, 61, arrives from top flight club Lokomotiva Zagreb in a deal which runs until after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
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The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) said in a statement on Monday they were "convinced that the squad led by Cacic would qualify for the European Championships in France".
He takes over from Niko Kovac who was sacked earlier this month after Croatia slipped to third in Group H following a 0-0 draw in Azerbaijan and a 2-0 loss against Norway.
Cacic has coached clubs including current Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb. He was also an assistant coach for the national under-21 team from 1994 to 1998 and the Libya team from 2003 to 2006.
Croatia deducted one point after a swastika was daubed on the pitch when they played Italy last June, play Bulgaria and Malta in their last two qualifying games.
The deduction means Croatia remain third in Group H, two points behind second-placed Norway and four adrift of leaders Italy.
Only the top two teams are guaranteed automatic qualification, along with the best third-placed side.
The remaining third-placed nations go into play-offs, but Croatia could yet be caught for third by Bulgaria, whom they face in Zagreb next month before going to Malta.