Socceroos coach Holger Osieck sacked
Australia coach Holger Osieck has been sacked after the Socceroos slumped to an embarrassing 6-0 friendly defeat in France on Friday night.
The drubbing, which follows last month's defeat to Brazil by the same scoreline, was the final straw for Osieck, who has had his position terminated just months after sealing World Cup qualification.
Football Federation Australia Chairman Frank Lowy insists the decision was made for the benefit of Australia's long-term interests, including the 2015 Asian Cup.
"The decision is based on the longer term issues of the rejuvenation of the Socceroos team and the preparations for the World Cup and the Asian Cup," said Lowy. "FFA has set a strategic objective of having a highly competitive team in Brazil and then handing over a team capable of winning the Asian Cup on home soil in January 2015.
"We have come to the conclusion that change is necessary to meet those objectives. I thank Holger for his contribution to Australian football and wish him well in his future endeavours."
Osieck has come under significant criticism during his tenure as Socceroos boss, with his selection tactics and Australia's early results in the World Cup qualifying stages providing cause for scrutiny.
Assistant coach Aurelio Vidmar will take charge for Australia's friendly against Canada on Tuesday and the decision made following an internal review of the qualification campaign, ordered by FFA CEO David Gallop.
"I have given our new Head of National Performance Luke Casserly and the National Technical Director Han Berger the task of conducting a review of our World Cup planning," said Gallop. "The review will include all aspects of the technical and logistical preparations, national teams unit staffing and the appointment of a new Head Coach.
"The World Cup kicks off in eight months and the Asian Cup is 15 months away. We are determined to make the most of the historical opportunities that these tournaments present to Australian football. FFA will give the highest priority to these projects because the Socceroos are the standard bearers for Australia on the world stage."
Socceroos captain Lucas Neill and Tim Cahill backed Osieck via social media following the news.
Sitting with Holger now, Australia should be proud and thankful. Asian cup final and WC qualification. Thanks and all the best boss!!— Lucas Neill (@LucasNeill) October 12, 2013
Want 2 say Thankyou to Holger for getting us to our 3rd WORLD CUP. Is this a first get us to WC and get the sack. Sad day for Football in oz— Tim Cahill (@Tim_Cahill) October 11, 2013