Paraguay fire Schelotto after poor start to 2026 qualifiers

September 18 – Guillermo Barros Schelotto has become the first management victim of the South American World Cup qualifiers after Paraguay’s poor start in their campaign.

The South American World Cup qualifiers no longer have the daunting reputation of yesteryear when just 4.5 slots were up for grabs. With the expanded 48-team finals in 2026, now 6.5 teams progress to the main draw.

Even so, after just two match days in the new campaign, Paraguay have parted way with Schelotto.

Under his command, the Paraguayans drew with Peru 0-0 in the first qualifier before losing 2-0 against Venezuela, who are often considered the whipping boys of the region.

“The Paraguayan Football Association communicates the culmination of the process led by coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto at the head of the Paraguayan National Team,” said the governing body in a statement.

The FA did not communicate further details about the Argentinean’s dismissal. The decision reduces the number of Argentine coaches in the South American World Cup qualifiers from seven to six.

Paraguay have featured in the global finals on eight occasions, qualifying four times in a row between 1998 and 2010. In South Africa, they reached the quarter-finals, their best result ever.

Sitting in sixth place in the table, they travel to Argentina before hosting Bolivia in their next two World Cup qualifiers in October.

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