Chelsea's Grant can carry on coaching, says UEFA

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BERNE, Switzerland, Sep 27 (Reuters) UEFA has no plans to ban new Chelsea manager Avram Grant from coaching in the Champions League despite uncertainty over his qualifications, European soccer's governing body said today.

Grant, who took over from Jose Mourinho last week, has yet to obtain the UEFA Pro Licence normally required to coach in European competition and the Premier League.

''We are awaiting the outcome of the discussions between Chelsea, the Israeli Football Association and the English Premier League,'' said a UEFA spokesman.

''But we have no intention of banning him from the touchline or taking any other such disciplinary measure.'' Chelsea were unavailable for immediate comment.

The spokesman said UEFA would only be forced to consider Grant's case if the Premier League formally complained to the European body about his lack of qualifications.

Former Israel coach Grant was named Chelsea's director of football before taking over as coach following Mourinho's shock departure from the west London club last week.

The 52-year-old has an Israeli FA coaching qualification awarded before the introduction 10 years ago of UEFA's current licensing system.

However, the Israeli licensing programme has since been upgraded by UEFA, allowing it to award Pro Licences.

Grant could upgrade his qualification by attending an adaptation course in his homeland but the next one is not scheduled to take place until July 2008.

Chelsea can seek special dispensation for Grant to stay on as coach beyond the 12-week grace period allowed by the Premier League although some clubs have opposed this in the past.

Reuters BJR DB1846

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