Coach's departure 'a blow' for soccer team

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 October, 2007, 12:00am

China's soccer authorities came in for a barrage of criticism yesterday after the decision by the popular women's national coach, Marika Domanski-Lyfors, to quit.

Players - both active and retired - said the Swede, 47, would be sorely missed and her departure was likely to throw the team back into chaos.

'For sure, it deals a blow to our preparation for the Olympics,' said Zhang Tong, a midfielder on the team.

Sun Wen, the country's greatest woman footballer and the 1999 Fifa player of the year, told Oriental Sports Daily: 'After so many arrivals and departures, I have become numbed to such news.'

Domanski-Lyfors cited a desire to spend more time with her family as a reason for not staying on with the Steel Roses, but it is understood she had become frustrated with official interference with her squad selections and tactics.