The 45-year-old Slovenian succeeds Frenchman Dominique Batheny, who was appointed in September 2008 but who failed in his bid to qualify the side for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. No details of Katanec's contract, which is for a two-year period, were revealed.
Katanec, a former Yugoslavia international, played against the United Arab Emirates at the 1990 FIFA World Cup™ in Italy. As a coach he led Slovenia to the UEFA European Championships in 2000 and to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where they lost all three matches.
After a brief spell with Olympiakos in Greece, which ended in 2003, Katanec did not coach at the top level until he became coach of Macedonia in 2006. He resigned from that post on 4 June.