Sources: Brazil fire interim head coach Diniz

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ESPN News Services

Jan 5, 2024, 04:12 PM ET

Brazil’s interim coach, Fernando Diniz, was fired on Friday by the country’s soccer federation (CBF), sources told ESPN Brasil.

The decision was taken one day after the president of the CBF, Ednaldo Rodrigues, returned to his role following a decision from Brazil’s Supreme Court. Rodrigues and all his executives had been removed from their jobs on Dec. 7 after a Rio de Janeiro court ruling on irregularities in the 2022 election process.

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São Paulo coach Dorival Junior is the current front-runner to take over as permanent head coach, with Rodrigues having already spoken to São Paulo president Julio Casares, sources told ESPN Brasil.

São Paulo are unwilling to let their coach leave for free and have asked the CBF to pay a fee to terminate Dorival’s contract, which will be around R$4.5 million ($920,000), sources said.

Diniz was hired as interim coach for the five-time World Cup winners in July on a one-year contract, with the federation confident of appointing Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti this summer following the end of his contract with the Spanish giants.

However, Ancelotti last week signed a new contract with Madrid through 2026. Without Ancelotti as an option, Rodrigues has now decided to hire a permanent replacement for Tite, who resigned following Brazil’s quarterfinal exit at the 2022 World Cup.

Diniz’s contract was due to expire before the 2024 Copa America, which will be hosted by the United States beginning on June 20.

During his time with Brazil, Diniz continued as head coach of Fluminense, who he led to the Copa Libertadores title in November.

However, he oversaw a disappointing start to Brazil’s campaign to qualify for the 2026 World Cup in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Brazil have lost three of their first six matches and sit in sixth place in the standings. Only the top six teams qualify automatically from South America, with seventh place entering a playoff.


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