RIO DE JANEIRO: Luiz Felipe Scolari has bowed to the inevitable and resigned as national coach of humiliated World Cup hosts Brazil.
The 65-year-old stood down in the wake of Brazil’s first succesive defeats in 70 years, by 7-1 in the World Cup semi-finals to eventual champions Germany and then by 3-0 to Holland in the third place play-off.
Scolari’s exit was announced formally on the Brazilian confederation website after his latest meeting with president Jose Maria Marin, who is scheduled to step down next year in favour of Marco Polo Del Nero.
Marin, despite being local organising president, was a notable absentee from a press conference in Rio to review the tournament. Reportedly he stayed away out of anger at having been allocated ‘only’ 20 tickets by FIFA for the Final.
Only last week Del Nero had given Scolari, who guided Brazil to their fifth World Cup success in 2002, his full backing following the humiliating defeat in Belo Horizonte, which the one-time Chelsea boss described as the “worst day” of his life.
However, it now appears all parties have agreed a new approach is needed to rebuild Brazilian football, with Scolari’s current contract, which expired at the end of the World Cup, not to be renewed.
A statement from the CBF read: “Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and his fellow coaching staff surrendered their positions to the board of the Brazilian Football Confederation. The resignation was accepted by president Marin, who was keen to thank all the coaches and players and, by extension, the Brazilian fans for their support throughout the World Cup campaign.
“Scolari and his entire coaching staff deserve our respect and gratitude. They were responsible for returning to the Brazilian people your love for the team, despite not having achieved our greatest goal.”
The 2014 World Cup was the first time in some 39 years Brazil had tasted defeat in a competitive fixture at home, having lifted the Confederations Cup 12 months ago.
The absences of star forward Neymar through a back injury and captain Thiago Silva through suspension proved crucial as Germany raced 5-0 ahead inside 30 minutes in Belo Horizonte.