RIO DE JANEIRO: Mano Menezes has been sacked as manager of 2014 World Cup hosts – and his successor may not be appointed until the new year writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Menezes was appointed after the sacking of Dunga following the five-times world champions’ quarter-final defeat by Holland in the 2010 World Cup. Contenders to take over the heavy responsibility of leading Brazil into next year’s Confederations Cup and then the World Cup itself include Corinthians’ Tite, Santos’ Muricy Ramalho and Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Ramalho was first choice before Menezes’s appointment but Santos refused to release him; Scolari, the most experienced man at international level, guided Brazil to victory in the 2002 World Cup and is currently out of work after his sacking by Palmeiras.

The new man’s first game could be the friendly against England at Wembley on February 6.

Menezes was appointed by ex-CBF strongman Ricardo Teixeira. His sacking was decided at a meeting in Sao Paulo between CBF president Jose Maria Marin, vice-president and FIFA exco member Marco Paolo Del Nero and Andres Sanches, the national teams’ director. Sanches, former president of Corinthians, may offer his own resignation.

Menezes used 102 players in his 33 games and 28 months in charge. Brazil won 21, drew six and lost six. He was under serious pressure after the failure to win Olympic gold in London when Brazil lost 2-1 to Mexico in the final.

On Wednesday night Brazil lost 2-1 to Argentina in the second leg of the so-called Superclássico das Americas. They won the trophy, decided over two legs, by 4-3 on penalties but the performance and the match result were the last nails in Menezes’s coffin. Both nations used only home-based players.

Menezes, in a farewell statement, thanked his coaching staff and all his selected players and wished them every success in the World Cup in 2014.

The Brazilians now face the embarrassment of not having a team manager to attend the high-profile draw for the Confederations Cup. This takes place next Saturday in Sao Paulo.

Separately, Rio de Janeiro governor Sergio Cabral has said that England will fly down to Brazil for the first major international in the redeveloped Maracana stadium on June 2. The stadium is scheduled to be ready by late April.