West Asia Saudi Arabia

Bert van Marwijk leaves Saudi Arabia post

Head coach Bert van Marwijk announced his departure from the Saudi Arabia national team just over a week after guiding the team to the 2018 World Cup finals.

The 65-year-old Dutch tactician had a contract until the end of Asia’s qualifying campaign, but was unable to agree on a new deal with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF).

SAFF wanted the former Netherlands coach in the 2010 World Cup to reside permanently in the country. However, he refused to accept it.

“I stopped the negotiations. Last week, after we qualified for the World Cup, a few of my staff members were sacked. That’s unacceptable for me”, Van Marwijk told NOS.

“I’m not going to negotiate about that. I don’t want to live there permanently. They think it’s incomprehensible that I had to leave. They really wanted to go to Russia with me.”

“I would like to go to the World Cup, because that’s why I started this job two years ago. But I will not let anyone tell me how to do my job,” he added.

“It appears that success has many fathers. After the World Cup, I notice that many people suddenly want to interfere with the national team and also want to talk about it.
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“It’s a pity that it has to be true, especially for the regular group of players we have been able to work with the past two years. Those players have approached me from all sides to stay, but I have no choice. Every coach must have the freedom to determine his own method.”

Van Marwijk was replaced by former Argentina boss Edgardo Bauza, who previously took over UAE in May but he was unable to clinch a spot in the World Cup qualifying play-off.