DUBLIN: Noel King has been appointed interim manager of the Republic of Ireland while the FAI considers finding a long-term successor to Giovanni Trapattoni.

The 74-year-old Italian left by mutual consent after five years following World Cup qualifying defeats by Sweden and Austria at the start of the month.

King, 56, will take charge of next month’s remaining two qualifiers, against Germany and Kazakhstan.

He has formerly managed Derry City, Shamrock Rovers, Limerick, Finn Harps and the Irish women’s team. King was also Ireland’s women’s manager from 2000 until 2010, when he took over the men’s under-21 team.

King’s assistant Harry McCue will take charge of the Under-21s for next month’s double header against Romania.

An FAI statement read that former international Ray Houghton and newly-appointed high performance director Ruud Dokter would assess likely candidates and submit recommendations to the board.

Martin O’Neill, former Aston Villa and Sunderland manager, is the favourite.

Elsewhere . . .

Bert Van Marwijk, who took Holland to the 2010 World Cup Final, is new coach of Hamburg in place of Thorsten Fink . . . Gabon have sacked Paulo Duarte after missing out on World Cup progress . . . Enzo Scifo has quit as coach of Belgium’s bottom club Mons . . . and Brazil’s Nautico have named Levi Gomes as their seventh coach of the season in place of Marcelo Martelotte.

In memoriam . . .

Vlatko Markovic, former Yugoslav international and national manager and president of the Croat federation, has died aged 76.