September 26 – Qatar have sacked yet another national team coach as it tries to find a way of building a competitive team ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Uruguay’s Jose Daniel Carreno, who took over only 17 months ago with a brief to try and qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia, is reportedly on the verge of being replaced by fellow Uruguayan Jorge Fossati following back-to-back losses in qualifiers against Iran and Uzbekistan that punched a massive hole in the Gulf state’s hopes.
Fossati returns for a second spell after coaching the national team in 2007-8 and is currently manager of top flight Qatar Stars League champions Al-Rayyan. His first task will be preparing for a crucial qualifier in South Korea in a fortnight’s time.
“Qatar is a special country for me and I cannot refuse an offer (to coach the team) if it is made to me,” Fossati was quoted as saying.
Despite steering the country through the second round of regional Asian qualifying, where they topped their group and won seven of their eight games, Carreno appears to have paid the price for a terrible start to the third round.
Qatar are desperate to reach their first finals in 2018 and prove to the world they deserve to be hosts four years later. If they fail to do so, they will become the first team to host the tournament without previously qualifying since Italy in 1934.
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