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Chinese Football Association

China boss Alain Perrin sacked as head of national team following World Cup flop

National soccer team manager sacked by the China Football Association, according to reports

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 January, 2016, 10:50am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 November, 2017, 3:15pm

The manager of the Chinese national soccer team, Alain Perrin, has been sacked by the China Football Association, according to reports.

China Radio International reported that the 59-year-old held a meeting with the CFA yesterday where he was “clearly informed him that their co-operation would not continue” and his ill-fated tenure was ended, according to CCTV’s sports channel.

“This means Perrin was formally dismissed from the Chinese national team,” it added, saying Perrin could be entitled to three months’ salary in compensation.

READ > Against all odds, Hong Kong hold China to 0-0 draw in World Cup qualifier

The Frenchman was hired in February 2014 after a series of high-profile managerial failures at the helm of the men’s national team, which is currently ranked 82 in the world, below Equatorial Guinea and Haiti.

He took China to last year’s Asian Cup quarter-finals, their best performance in more than a decade.

But results since then have faltered.

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The decision comes after a high-profile draw in Hong Kong last year, a match China had to win to stand any realistic chance of making the next stage of qualifying.

The CFA apologised and announced a review of Perrin’s performance after the politically charged match, which saw the semi-autonomous territory’s fans jeer the national anthem they share with the mainland.

But President Xi Jinping is an avowed football fan and has called on the nation to up its game with the goals of eventually hosting and winning a World Cup - a tournament in which it has only appeared once, in 2002.

READ > China coach demands team beat Hong Kong by at least three goals in World Cup qualifier

The drive has seen schools and government organisations looking to promote the game, while cashed-up Chinese Super League clubs have lured foreign players and coaches with lucrative deals.

The country is also preparing to bid for the 2023 Asian Cup, the continent’s biggest football championship.

Perrin, 59, who led Lyon to a French league and Cup double in 2008, also managed Saint-Etienne and had an eight-month stint at English side Portsmouth in 2005 - where he achieved just four victories in 20 Premiership matches.

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Before taking up the China post he managed a team in Qatar, which is to host the 2022 World Cup.

Perrin’s failure to guide China through the first round of World Cup 2018 Asian qualifying seems to have cost the experienced coach his job.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse