The UAE Football Association (UAE FA) finally ran out of patience on Wednesday and sacked the national football team’s coach Bert van Marwijk.
The UAE squad returned after a lacklustre campaign at the ongoing 24th Gulf Cup in Doha and the Dutch coach was the first casualty.
The 67-year-old former midfielder was handed the reins of the UAE football team in March this year following the national team’s dismal performance at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup under coach Alberto Zaccheroni.
The Dutchman had been handed over the responsibility of leading the UAE campaign for the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
However, after four matches in Group G, the UAE have six points – thanks to a hard-fought opening win away against Malaysia followed by a 5-0 thrashing of Indonesia before crashing to a shock defeats against Thailand (1-2) and Vietnam (0-1) last month.
With the next qualifier scheduled in March next year, the UAE are in fourth in the five-team group that is being led by Vietnam. Only group winners will advance to the third round of the qualifiers.
In the ongoing Arabian Gulf Cup, the UAE had been clubbed with Yemen, Iraq and hosts Qatar. They rode on a hat-trick from Ali Mabkhout to collect full points against Yemen, but fell 2-1 to Iraq before being packed off by hosts Qatar 4-2 in the last group match last Sunday.
The UAE FA confirmed the news of Van Marwijk’s departure in a statement and assured football faithful that his successor would be appointed shortly.