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Paulo Autuori watches Qatar play Tajikistan in a friendly match in this September 2012 file photo. The Qatar Football Association and Autuori have parted ways, it was announced yesterday.
DOHA: The Qatar Football Association (QFA) have parted ways with national team coach Paulo Autuori, the QFA announced yesterday.
Autuori’s last match in charge was the 1-0 loss against Bahrain at the Gulf Cup on Friday, in which Qatar failed to qualify for the semi-finals.
Qatar finished their Gulf Cup campaign in third place in Group A, with three points from three matches, having played Oman, UAE and Bahrain.
In a statement on the QFA website (www.qfa.com.qa), Qatar’s football governing body said they had mutually agreed to end the tenure of Autuori, who will be replaced by Fahad Thani.
Thani assisted Autuori during his stint as Qatar coach.
QFA President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani thanked Autuori and wished the Brazilian coach the best of luck. He said: “We thank Autuouri for the commitment he had shown towards the development of the national team and football in Qatar. We wish him every success in this future endeavours.”
Autuori, who replaced Frenchman Bernard Simondi as Olympic coach, thanked the QFA and said he had a memorable five and a half-years in Qatar. He said: “It’s time to spend more time with his family in Brazil.”
Speaking of Thani’s appointment, Sheikh Hamad said: “The decision to appoint Fahan Thani came after close consideration of his coaching credentials, notwithstanding the fact he has been working closely with the national team for quite some time, as Paulo Autuori’s assistant.”
He added: “Moreover, he intimate knowledge of the national team and Qatari football in general and will be a great addition to our team.”
Autuori, who enjoyed success in Brazil with the country’s leading clubs, most notably leading Sao Paulo to the FIFA Club World Cup in 2005, arrived in Qatar to manage Al Rayyan.
The Brazilian coach soon made an impact and led Al Rayyan to successive victories in the Emir Cup in 2010 and 2011.
The 56-year-old, also coached the Peruvian national team from 2003 to 2005 and has also managed clubs in the Portuguese Premier Division during his managerial career that started in 1979.
Prior to becoming the coach of Qatar, Autuori had been the Olympic team coach for five months.
The Brazilian, who took over as coach of the national team in February 2012, leaves Qatar with a chance of reaching the FIFA World Cup in 2014, after the 1-0 win in November 2012, ensured that his side claimed a double over Lebanon.
Qatar has seven points from five matches, and sit in fourth place in the Asian Zone Group A FIFA qualification round.
Their next match is against Asian giants South Korea on March 26, before matches against Iran and Uzbekistan in June this year.
Prior to the crucial away match against South Korea, Thani’s immediate task is to oversee Qatar’s opening qualification match for the 2015 Asian Cup at home on February 6.