China must look for the third coach for the national football team this year after the Football Association of China (CFA) accepted the decision to resign coach Marcello Lippi after the defeat against Syria in Group A qualifying round two past 2022 World Cups.
After a 1-2 defeat in Dubai (UAE) – because Syria had to play in the neutral ground due to domestic instability, the famous Italian coach did not hide his anger when appearing briefly in front of the media in a press conference.
Xinhua quoted Mr. Lippi in a post-match press conference as saying: “My salary is very high and I accept all responsibilities. I will leave the position of coach of the Chinese team. We can beat weaker opponents like the Maldives and Guam, but when we meet stronger teams like the Philippines and Syria, the team does not show its best”. Then Mr. Lippi abruptly left the press conference.
Shortly thereafter, the CFA quickly issued a statement accepting the resignation of the 71-year-old coach who led Italy to the coronation of the 2006 World Cup. AFP quoted the CFA’s statement as saying: “We are really sorry about The bad results have disappointed Chinese football fans. CFA will seriously review, rebuild the team, and try their best in the next World Cup qualifying matches.”
A 2-1 victory helped Syria maintain the top of Group A in the second round of the 2022 World Cup with 12 absolute points after 4 rounds. China ranked second with 7 points and just over the Philippines thanks to the goal difference, making their hope of competing for a ticket to go forward facing a gloomy prospect. This achievement once again made CFA and the players suffer the anger of domestic fans.
Chinese football is going through a turbulent year and Lippi’s resignation is a blow to the government’s ambition to become a football superpower. It is known that Mr. Lippi before his resignation received a salary of up to 180 million yuan (about 25 million USD) per year to lead the Chinese team. With this salary, Mr. Lippi became the highest-paid coach in the world.
In January, the Italian captain left his post after taking the Chinese team to the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup, but had to stop after a dramatic 3-0 defeat to Iran. His countryman and former student Fabio Cannavaro took over this vacant chair. However, Cannavaro led the Chinese team only two matches before declaring that he could not take on both the national team and the Guangzhou Evergrande Club, which competed in the Chinese Super League.
Therefore, coach Lippi decided to return in May, but the second round of his Chinese team only lasted only 6 matches. China currently sits at 69th in the world and only once won a ticket to attend the World Cup finals in 2002.