Saudi Arabia part ways with Pizzi

Published on: 12 February 2019

Jeddah: The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) has decided not to renew head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi’s contract.

SAFF's has given its Technical Committee the mandate to hire a new national head coach.

The SAFF said in a statement: “The board has entrusted during its meeting on Monday, the Technical Committee to take over the choice of the next coach of the Saudi National Team, according to the standards to suit the needs of the coming period.

“The Board reviewed the governance system, the organisational structure, the tasks and responsibilities of the standing and judicial committees and the working mechanisms therein, in order to raise the level of the efficiency and quality of performance in its work.”

Pizzi, best known for guiding Chile to the 2016 Copa America title in the United States, took over the Saudi Arabia coaching role in 2017.

The Argentine then led Saudi Arabia’s revival in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia by defeating Egypt 2-1 in the final group game after they opened their campaign with a 5-0 defeat against Russia.

Saudi Arabia began their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 as one of the firm contenders to land the Continental title.

The three-time champions went on to win two of their Group E matches, defeating DPR Korea 4-0 and Lebanon 2-0.

However, a 2-0 loss to Qatar in their final group game pitted the Green Falcons against Japan in the Round of 16 as Pizzi’s men fell 1-0 to the Samurai Blue.