2013-09-27 11:01 PM
OSLO, Norway (AP) -- Per-Mathias Hogmo has been tapped as Norway's new coach, immediately replacing Egil Olsen who agreed to resign after the latest poor results in the team's attempt to qualify for the World Cup.
The Norwegian federation said on Friday that Hogmo, a 53-year-old former midfielder, will continue to coach Swedish side Djurgarden for the rest of the season. He previously coached Norway women and several Norwegian clubs, including Rosenborg.
Hogmo replaced Olsen, who quit after a 2-0 loss to Switzerland in World Cup qualifying this month.
Norway lies fourth behind Switzerland, Iceland and Slovenia, and its qualifying chances are remote.
"I am surprised (by the change). It would have been more favorable to Norwegian football and me if it had been right after the Switzerland game, for instance," Olsen told a news conference in Oslo. "But I am more surprised than mad and bitter."
The initial plan was for Olsen to see out the last two qualifiers next month before quitting. However, Olsen, known by his nickname Drillo, was informed late Thursday of the change.
Olsen, 71, had coached Norway during its most successful period in the 1990s with two World Cup qualifications, and then again since 2009.
Hogmo signed a four-year contract that includes a get-out clause should Norway fail to qualify for the 2016 European Championship which he said was his goal.
Associated Press writer Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed.