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Qatar replace head coach Autuori

Brazilian makes way for assistant Thani after early Gulf Cup exit

Gulf News

Doha: Qatar have parted ways with Brazil’s Paulo Autuori and named his assistant Fahad Thani as the new head coach of the national football team, the country’s football association said on Tuesday.

The Qatar FA said in a statement on their website that they had mutually agreed to end the tenure of Autuori, who replaced fellow Brazilian Sebastiao Lazaroni last February.

Qatar were knocked out of the ongoing Gulf Cup in Bahrain at the group stage after finishing third behind UAE and the hosts in Group A.

Meanwhile, with three fixtures remaining, Qatar are in fourth place in Group A of the final Asian qualifying round for the 2014 World Cup, a point behind leaders Uzbekistan, and travel to South Korea on March 23 for their next match. The top two sides qualify automatically for the finals in Brazil.

QFA president Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmad Al Thani thanked Autuori, who also managed Qatar’s Olympic side for five months, for his contribution.

“The decision to appoint Fahad Thani came after close consideration of his coaching credentials, notwithstanding the fact that he has been working closely with the national team for quite some time, as Paulo Autuori’s assistant,” the president said.

“Moreover, he has intimate knowledge of the national team and Qatari football in general and will be a great addition to our team.”

Thani’s first task will be to oversee Qatar’s opening qualification match for the 2015 Asian Cup at home to Malaysia on February 6.