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Soccer fans despair as coach dumped

By Tang Zhe (China Daily)

11:11, June 23, 2013

Jose Antonio Camacho, coach of Chinese soccer team. (China Daily)

In the aftermath of a humiliating loss to a young Thailand side, coach Jose Antonio Camacho's controversial relationship with the national soccer team finally came to an end with the Chinese Football Association deciding to terminate its contract with the Spaniard on Friday night.

However, instead of Camacho being blamed for the poor result, Chinese netizens have accused the soccer body itself of being responsible for the national team's misfortunes.

In a survey on Chinese website, more than 70 percent of respondents suggested it was the CFA's incompetence that led to the national squads' current predicament. Some fans expressed sympathy for Camacho, pointing out there are many issues in Chinese soccer that the coach was unable to control.

Camacho's dismissal is also being regarded as a hasty and unwise decision, which will ultimately have a negative impact on the national team.

"Camacho left in a hurry, and his successor must come in a hurry, without any understanding, preparation or plan The qualifier of the Asian Cup and World Cup will soon be upon us and time waits for no man. The day will never be bright without doing things the right way," CCTV commentator He Wei wrote on Chinese micro-blogging site, weibo.

With the sponsorship of Chinese company Dalian Wanda Group, the CFA replaced domestic coach Gao Hongbo and signed a three-year contract with Camacho in August, 2011.

Instead of making improvements, however, the Spaniard's tenure was a series of disappointments. Shortly after his appointment in 2011, China suffered an early knockout from the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. The national team lost to Brazil 8-0 in a friendly in September, and saw its FIFA ranking slip to 109 - its all-time low - in March.

According to a report on CCTV, the two sides are in talks about a pay out. It will likely cost the CFA more than 7 million euros ($9 million) for dumping Camacho and his coaching team 14 months before the expiry of their contract.

Camacho's departure again pushes Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande's Italian coach Marcello Lippi to the forefront, who has not discounted the suggestion he could coach the national team in media interviews.

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