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Saudi Arabia sack coach Rijkaard

January 16, 2013
By ESPN staff

Former Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard has been sacked as coach of Saudi Arabia, the nation's football federation has announced.

Frank Rijkaard Saudi Arabia
PA PhotosFrank Rijkaard failed to guide Saudi Arabia into the final round of World Cup qualifying

Rijkaard has been unable to inspire a transformation in fortunes for Saudi Arabia, who failed to reach the 2010 World Cup after making four successive appearances up until 2006.

The Dutchman was unable to even guide the nation into the final qualifying round for the 2014 tournament in Brazil, and a disappointing recent Gulf Cup of Nations campaign was the last straw for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF).

"It has been agreed with the Dutchman Mr Frank Rijkaard to terminate his contract," a statement on SAFF's official website said: "We would like to thank Mr Rijkaard and wish him every success in the next step of his career."

Saudi Arabia failed to get past the group stage in the Gulf Cup of Nations in Bahrain, with their only win a 2-0 success against Yemen.

Spaniard Sergio Lopez Caro will take charge of the team for the upcoming Asian Cup qualifiers along with Salman Quraini. Saudi Arabia will contest Group C against Iraq, China and Indonesia.