BRATISLAVA: The Slovak Football Association (SFZ) said Tuesday it had appointed Francesco Calzona as the new national team coach. It will be the first stint as head coach for the Italian, who has worked as an assistant manager with Italian clubs including Napoli, Cagliari and Empoli. At Napoli, Calzona coached Slovakia’s long-time captain Marek Hamsik, currently playing for Trabzonspor in Turkey, who ended his international career in May. The SFZ said it “has signed a contract with the 53-year-old Italian coach until December 31, 2023,” adding the contract would automatically be prolonged to Euro 2024 if Slovakia makes it to the tournament. Calzona, who will be officially introduced as the head coach on Friday, replaces Stefan Tarkovic, who was sacked over a string of poor results in June. Tarkovic led Slovakia to Euro 2020, postponed until 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but his team failed to make it past the group stage.