Marseille's Belgian coach Eric Gerets has turned down the chance to become the coach of his country's national team, the Belgian Football Federation (URBSFA) revealed.

The president of the federation's technical committee "contacted Mr Eric Gerets with regard to the appointment of a new national team coach", according to a statement from the URBSFA.

I've always said that to be coach of your own country is an honour. I haven't changed my opinion. It would be ideal when it is possible for everyone at the right time.

Eric Gerets explains his decision to not take over the Belgian national team

"Mr Gerets declared himself honoured to have been considered for a role which he cannot take up in the immediate future, but remains opens to proposals in the medium to long term," the statement added. Gerets, 54, "thanked the federation for the interest in him they had shown", the brief statement concluded.

Belgium are looking for a successor to 55-year-old Rene Vandereycken, who was sacked at the beginning of the month after a string of poor results in Belgium's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying camapign.

"I've always said that to be coach of your own country is an honour," said Gerets last week. "I haven't changed my opinion. It would be ideal when it is possible for everyone at the right time."

Gerets has guided Marseille to the top of the French first division and the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup although they were knocked out by Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday.