Argentina Coach Sergio Batista Dismissed After a Flop Show at Copa America
Argentina’s Copa America Quarter final exit has cost coach Sergio Batista his job. The Argentine Football Association declared on Monday that they were parting ways with the 48 year old manager who was brought in to succeed Diego Maradona after the 2010 World Cup debacle.
AFA’s spokesperson Ernesto Cherquis Bialo confirmed Batista’s departure after a meeting of the AFA executive committee on Monday.
A statement was later released on AFA’s official website which read:
“After a telephone conversation between Mr. Sergio Batista and the President of the Argentine Football Association, Julio Grondona, the National Selection Committee has decided to rescind the contract that Mr. Batista had with the Argentine Football Association and suspend the game against Romania scheduled for August.”
Batista, who took over a year ago, was Argentina’s fourth coach in five years and was blamed for not knowing about his team’s potential, a team that comprises world class players like Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Javier Pastore amongst others. During his tenure, Batista guided Argentina in 17 matches, with eight victories six draws and three defeats.
The Copa America defeat was a final blow to his tenure. However, the manager had strongly defended his case after the Uruguay match and was quoted as saying:
“I am sure of my footballing ideas and how to translate them on to the pitch. I always said the Copa was all about getting ready for the World Cup in 2014. I recognise there were mistakes (at the Copa) and I am prepared to correct them. I am absolutely resolved to keep going. The Copa was not in vain. When changes had to be made I made them.”
There was no immediate word on a successor, athough the main candidates appear to be Alejandro Sabella and Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino. Ernesto said that any official announcement regarding this would be made in the coming week.
With the cancellation of the match against Romania, the next scheduled fixtures for Argentina are tune-ups before they begin 2014 World Cup qualifying in October against Chile.