Almaty, Kazakhstan (AFP) - Kazakhstan's football federation is giving fans the chance to help select a new coach for the national team via an Internet vote, it was announced on Monday.
Football lovers will first be able to cast ballots in an online poll to decide if the next national manager should be foreign or Kazakh, federation supremo Yerlan Kozhagapanov said.
If more than 50,000 people participate then the result will be considered valid and the federation will then hold a second round of voting to decide between four candidates.
"We decided to give our fans the chance to express their will, to exert an impact on this strategic decision," Kozhagapanov told local media.
"Football cannot develop without the involvement of the fans in the game. If they exercise their right to influence this decision it will definitely be for the benefit of our squad." The national team hot-seat in the energy-rich state is currently vacant after the contract of the previous manager, Yury Krasnozhan of Russia, expired last month.
"We do not only talk about the full openness of our federation, we are doing our best to put it into practice," Kozhagapanov said.
"But if the number of voters does not reach the target it will also be an important sign for the federation. In this case we will take the decision on our own."
Kazakhstan - which has a population of some 17.5 million - has never qualified for any major tournaments either in Asia or in Europe since joining UEFA in 2002.
Five foreign coaches and eight local managers have led the national squad since the country gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.