World Cup hosts Qatar announced on Friday that national coach Felix Sanchez had been sacked with the end of his contract following the team’s dismal World Cup where they failed to take a point from their group matches.
The Qatar Football Federation said it had decided not to renew Felix Sanchez’s contract as head coach of the Qatar national team. We are grateful to him for his efforts and wish him all the best for the future.”
The Spaniard’s latest deal with Qatar expires on December 31, but his future was in doubt after the Gulf state, which spent tens of billions of dollars preparing for the World Cup, failed to make it to the second round.
The team was hidden in training camps in Europe months before the start of the tournament and the tactics have been criticized ever since.
The QFA praised the work of the 47-year-old former Barcelona staffer who had been in Qatar since 2006.
“We have had some wonderful years together, filled with many great moments, which will live forever in the history of Qatari football. Thank you for everything, Mr. Sanchez! said the QFA on Twitter.
Sanchez became national coach in 2017 and guided them to victory in the Asian Cup two years later.
But they never recovered after a disastrous start in the World Cup opening game they lost to Ecuador.
They joined South Africa from 2010 as the only hosts to be dumped at the first hurdle.
Sanchez insisted at the end of the tournament that his team was never aiming for a place in the knockout stages.
He said there were only 6,000 registered players in Qatar “so this was a likely situation”, when asked if he ever thought Qatar would come through the group.
“We never thought of setting ourselves the goal of reaching the last 16 or the quarter-finals.
“We just wanted to come here and see what we could do. We managed to play two good matches against Senegal and the Netherlands. The first match (against Ecuador) we were not at our usual level and we know that.”
He admitted that he is unsure about his future.
Qatar’s three defeats drew harsh criticism on social media and defender Abdelkarim Hassan has been kicked out of his Al Sadd squad because of his reaction.
When a fan questioned Hassan’s attitude on social media, he replied, “Take it easy. Do you think this is a war?”
Al Sadd said the 29-year-old, who had a contract until 2024, left because his “prospects don’t match the team’s goals and aspirations”.
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