November 15 – Marcello Lippi has quit as China coach after a 2-1 defeat by Syria in a 2022 World Cup qualifier in Dubai. It is the second time this year that the Italian has resigned from his role.
On Thursday, China’s defeat at the hands of Syria left their World Cup qualification campaign in serious doubts. In Group A, the Chinese trail group leaders Syria by five points. China easily dispatched minnows Maldives and Guam before drawing with the Philippines and slumping to defeat in Dubai.
In the 76th minute Zhang Linpeng beat his own goalkeeper to hand Syria victory, prompting the resignation of Lippi. In January, after a quarter-final exit at the Asian Cup, the Italian stepped down, but the Chinese Football Association (CFA) reappointed him in May. Former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro had succeeded Lippi as China boss, but lasted just two games.
“I was well paid and I take the full responsibility,” said Lippi. “I am now announcing my resignation and I will be no longer be the coach of Team China.”
The CFA has accepted Lippi’s resignation and apologised in a statement about the national team’s underwhelming result against Syria. “We are really sorry that the unsatisfactory match results disappoint all Chinese fans,” said a CFA statement. “The CFA will reflect seriously to rebuild the team, and try our best in the following World Cup qualifiers.”
In 2006 Lippi led Italy to the world title, defeating France on penalties in the final of the Germany World Cup.
In other Asian World Cup qualifying results, Iraq upset Iran 2-1 with substitute Ali Abbas netting the winner for Srecko Katanec’s team. The defeat will up the pressure on Belgian coach Marc Wilmots, who has the unenviable task of succeeding Carlos Queiroz at Iran. Afghanistan held India and Croatian coach Igor Stimac to a 1-1 draw and Saudi Arabia snatched a late 2-3 win away to Uzbekistan.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1576123767labto1576123767ofdlr1576123767owedi1576123767sni@o1576123767fni1576123767