Marcello Lippi to stay on as China national team head coach until after 2019 Asian Cup

Chinese Football Association (CFA) officials have confirmed that national team head coach Marcello Lippi will remain in charge until the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, when his contract expires.

There has been speculation the former World Cup champion will be removed from his post if his side are unable to secure a slot in next year’s World Cup in Russia.

But the CFA insists on backing the 69-year-old Italian regardless of the results against Uzbekistan and Qatar in the final qualifiers.

“We will strictly carry out our contract with Lippi which expires after the 2019 Asian Cup,” said the CFA in a statement. 

“We won’t interfere with his preparation and the line up. In the mean time, we will support his group as always. We hope to support and trust each other.”

China have been almost out of contention since they are standing bottom of Group A in the third round of World Cup qualification with just six points from eight matches.

However, Lippi and his men still have a slim chance of a play-off spot to reach the tournament in Russia. Their fate will be decided in the final two games in group A against Uzbekistan at home next Thursday and Qatar away the following Tuesday