Qatar fans cheer their team on in the football tournament at this month’s Arab Games (Getty)

(WFI) World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar are seeking to appoint either Al Sadd coach Jorge Fossati or Al Gharafa coach Bruno Metsu in the hot seat as coach of the national team.

Besides the two Qatar Stars League (QSL) club coaches, another South American Paulo Autorri now coaching the under-23 national team taking part in the Olympic qualifiers is also a hot contender for the post.

The trio are set to fill the void created by the sacking of Brazilian Sebastiao Lazaroni and guide the destiny of the team in the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifiers.

Lazaroni, who coached Brazil in the 1990 World Cup, was appointed in August but this week became the third Qatar coach to be shown the door by the oil-rich country this year. Serbian Milovan Rajevac and Metsu were axed by Qatar football chiefs earlier in 2011.

The decision followed Qatar’s failure to qualify for the knockout stage of the ongoing Arab Games in Doha.

Lazaroni was held responsible for the defensive mistakes the team committed in the first match against Bahrain, in which they led 2-0 in the first half before allowing their opponents to come back and level the score. Bahrain then beat Iraq 3-0, which left the Qataris needing to defeat Iraq 4-0 to go through — but they could only manage a goalless draw as both teams crashed out of the competition.

“Achieving your goals with the national team can take a lot of time and effort. Especially because you work together in such small periods of time,” Lazaroni had written in an article which features on the QSL website.

“As a club coach your team is the universe. As a national team coach your universe expands.

“You need to follow up on all your players, their clubs, their leagues and of course other national teams. Not being able to work with your players on a daily basis, makes other forms of communication very important. To gather all the information needed, you should not only stay in touch with your player, but also with their clubs and coaches.

“The clubs play a very important role in the whole process of achieving your goal. Mostly because they are the ones who prepare your player for the national team,” he says.

Lazaroni, who took over from Rajevac, had taken the team into the third round of the 2014 World Cup Asian Zone qualification. Qatar have not lost any game under him, and are on the verge of making it to the final round.

However, a string of draws did not go down well with the Qatar Football Association (QFA).

The QFA, in a statement, said the decision was taken after a board meeting, chaired by QFA President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani, which discussed the team’s recent results and performances.

“The QFA thanks him for all his efforts. The association confirms that terminating the contract does not underestimate him as a great coach who helped in developing Qatar Sports Club. A new coach, who is familiar Qatari football, will be announced soon,” added the QFA statement.

Of the three contenders, Fossati and Metsu have coached the national team before. While the Uruguayan relinquished the charge on health grounds, the long-haired Frenchman was sacked after the Asian Cup in January this year.

Metsu failed to guide the hosts past the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup held in Doha. Qatar, who have never made it to the semi-finals of the tournament, were beaten 3-2 in the last eight by eventual winners Japan after a last minute winner from Masahiko Inoha.

The Gulf nation has never qualified for the World Cup and is under pressure to improve after becoming the first Arab country to win hosting rights to football’s biggest event.

Although Fossati is being touted as a successor to Lazaroni, the Uruguay-born Al Sadd boss is unlikely to be released by his club, as they are in the mist of the Qatar Stars League (QSL).

The Qatari club which finished third in the just-ended FIFA Club World Cup Championship in Japan last week are currently in fifth spot in the 12-team QSL with 13 points, five behind leaders Lekhwiya.

Metsu’s club Al Gharafa lie sixth with 11 points.

By INSIDER’s Armstrong Augusto Vaz

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