DOHA: Qatar’s failure to have already reached the next stage of the 2014 World Cup plus a disappointing Arab Games showing have led to the dismissal of Brazilian Sebastiao Lazaroni as national coach.
Lazaroni, who bossed Brazil at the 1990 World Cup finals in Italy, had been in the job only five months after succeeding equally short-lived Serb Milovan Rajevac.
A statement from the Qatar Football Association said Lazaroni had paid the price for “a series of weak performances” and picked out the failure to progress beyond the group stage of the Arab Games which are being hosted in Qatar.
In the World Cup qualifiers the 2022 hosts Qatar are in Group E of the third round but need a draw in their final match in February away to leaders Iran. They could have qualified had they beaten Bahrain in Doha in November but were held goalless. Bahrain go to weak Indonesia in the last round of matches at the end of February but Qatar should qualify through a superior goal difference even if they lose.
Lazaroni’s was only appointed in August this year, succeeding Serbian Milovan Rajevac who was sacked because of the “rather alarming fashion” in which Qatar had edged “humble” Vietnam 4-2 over two legs in the second round.
Qatar want to qualify for the World Cup finals at least once – and for the first time – and before they play host in 2022.
The QFA said Lazaroni’s successor will be well aware of Qatari soccer which points towards one of the foreigners coaching already in Doha. On that basis another Brazilian, former World Cup midfielder Paulo Silas, will be one of the favourites.