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Interim Brazil coach Diniz ousted by returning FA president


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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil coach Fernando Diniz was fired by the confederation president on Friday, a day after the latter got his job back.

The Brazilian Football Confederation said in a statement that president Ednaldo Rodrigues informed Diniz that he wanted to “advance the process of choice of a permanent coach.”

Diniz was contracted to the middle of the year as Rodrigues expected Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti to take the Brazil job before the Copa America in June in the United States. However, Ancelotti recently extended his stay at Madrid.

Diniz was splitting Brazil duties with coaching Fluminense, the Copa Libertadores champion.

Rodrigues was returned to office by Brazil’s Supreme Court on Thursday, one month after a Rio de Janeiro court ousted him and his directors and triggered an election process that was questioned by FIFA.

“The CBF thanks Fernando Diniz for his work, his dedication, his seriousness and for the challenge of revamping Brazil,” a statement said.

Neither Diniz nor Fluminense have yet reacted to the sacking.

Rodrigues told Fluminense before breaking the news to Diniz, a CBF source told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it.

“Ednaldo’s deal with Diniz was for him to stay until Ancelotti came. Since Ancelotti will not come, there needs to be a change,” the source said.

The CBF was preparing an offer for Sao Paulo coach Dorival Júnior to take over, the source added. Júnior has won the Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Cup.

Brazil is sixth in South American World Cup qualifying, eight points behind leader Argentina. South America has six qualifying spots for the 2026 tournament. The seventh-placed team will go into intercontinental playoffs.

Diniz was Brazil’s coach in all six games so far. They beat Bolivia and Peru, drew with Venezuela at home, and lost to Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina. The next two rounds are in September after the Copa America.

Brazil’s next matches will be in March; friendlies against England and Spain in Europe.

Firing Diniz came three days before FIFA and CONMEBOL executives visit to discuss alleged third-party interference to get rid of the CBF leadership, which was reversed by the Supreme Court. FIFA was threatening to suspend Brazil from international competitions because of it.

Rodrigues was removed as president on Dec. 7 by the Rio court due to alleged irregularities in his election in 2022. But Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes annulled that decision saying there was “evident risk of damage” if Brazil was blocked from competing in Paris Olympic qualifiers this month because of the interference.

Squads had to be submitted to FIFA by Friday, and soccer’s governing body did not accept a list sent by temporary CBF officials days ago.

Rodrigues sent the CBF’s list hours after he fired Diniz.


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