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FA meet Curbishley as England interviews begin

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LONDON, Mar 12 (Reuters) Alan Curbishley has been interviewed by the Football Association as the governing body starts the process of finding a new England manager.

The FA confirmed they had met the 49-year-old Charlton Athletic manager after newspapers today published photographs of Curbishley with its chief executive Brian Barwick.

''It is accurate that we have met with Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley as part of this process after obtaining permission from the club,'' the FA said on its website.

The FA had already said Barwick would begin the process of recruiting the next England manager after the March 1 friendly with Uruguay as they seek to replace Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The Swede, who is the first foreigner to coach the England team, will leave the post after this year's World Cup finals in Germany, which run from June 9 to July 9.

''We stated at the time that this would involve speaking to numerous individuals, including potential candidates. As you would expect that process is now up and running,'' the FA website said today.

''The FA remains committed to appointing a manager before the World Cup. That is our sole timetable.

''Until significant progress is made beyond speaking to individuals, we believe strongly that the process must be conducted in private.

''It should be noted, however, that the FA would only approach managers to discuss the role, after permission had been received from their clubs.'' The recruitment process has been formulated by Barwick and the chairman and vice-chairman of the FA's international committee, Noel White and Dave Richards respectively.

Other candidates linked with the job by the British media are former Celtic manager Martin O'Neill, Bolton Wanderers boss Sam Allardyce and Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce.

REUTERS PM KP0912

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