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China replaced Li Tie as the head coach of its men's football team with veteran Li Xiaopeng after weeks of media pressure and speculation, as the country faces dwindling chances of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Image Credit: AFP

Beijing: China replaced Li Tie as coach today after weeks of intense media pressure and speculation, with their hopes of reaching the 2022 World Cup all but over.

The former Everton midfielder, 44, resigned and has been replaced by Li Xiaopeng, who had been in charge at Super League side Wuhan FC, the Chinese FA said.

Request accepted

Li Xiaopeng had been widely tipped to take over and was hired “after extensive consultations”, the CFA said.

“In recent days Li Tie submitted his request to resign as head coach of the Chinese men’s national football team,” the statement said, adding it had “decided to accept his request”.