Experienced French coach Henri Stambouli was charged with guiding Togo to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ finals and the CAF Africa Cup of Nations finals the same year when he signed a two year contract on Wednesday.

The 46-year-old Algerian-born former goalkeeper had looked like turning down the FA's offer because he was disappointed at the process of selecting the national squad.

However, after holding further talks with the federation he agreed to put pen to paper and take on one of Africa's more turbulent coaching posts, though, the players managed to overcome the political infighting by reaching the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup finals.

"Today (Wednesday) is a big day, a seminal moment for Togolese football.

"I hope that we are really going to think about the future," added Stambouli, who has also had spells coaching Guinea and Mali, taking the latter to the 2004 Nations Cup semi-finals.

Stambouli replaces Nigerian Stephen Keshi, who knows all about the trials and tribulations of the job having guided them to the FIFA World Cup finals before being unceremoniously dumped prior to them after a bust-up with star striker Emmanuel Adebayor at that year's African finals.

Stambouli, who took Moroccan club side FAR Rabat to the 2006 CAF Cup, admitted that he had been frank with the federation over interfering in selection.

"I put a little bit of pressure on the federation, not over problems with the contract but over the internal structure and the organisation," Stambouli told AFP on Tuesday.

His first challenge comes this Saturday when Togo take on Zambia in the Ghanaian capital Accra in a match counting for both qualification for the African championship and FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010.