Veteran coach Egil Olsen is to take the reins of the Norwegian national side for a second time, he revealed on Wednesday, intially on a temporary basis.

The 66-year-old, who guided Norway to the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup™ finals on the only occasions they had reached that stage since World War II, will be in charge for three friendlies including one against 2010 finals hosts South Africa on 28 March.

It is not sure whether he will remain in charge to take up the challenge of trying to revive Norway's virtually non-existent hopes of qualifying for the first African finals - Norway are bottom of their group with just two points and behind sides such as Iceland and Macedonia.

"My agreement with the NFF (the Norwegian Football Federation) is all in order," said Olsen, who is known as 'Drillo' because of the dribbling skills he displayed as a Norwegian international. "There are just a few minor details to sort out.

One of those details that had to be sorted out was that Olsen, who had an unsuccessful spell as coach of then top tier English side Wimbledon in 1999 and more recently a shortlived one with the Iraqi national team, ended a business agreement with betting company Expekt, which he says has been done.

"Expekt has not raised any objections, but it had to be agreed at the highest level. That took more time, but now it is in order," Olsen said.