Soccer-Al Johar quits as coach of Saudi Arabia

RIYADH Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:28am GMT

RIYADH Feb 15 (Reuters) - Nasser Al Johar has resigned as coach of Saudi Arabia after a poor run of form in 2010 World Cup qualifiers, the country's soccer federation has announced.

Al Johar, who led the Saudis to the 2002 finals, quit in the wake of their 1-0 defeat to North Korea last week, which left them second from bottom in Group Two, with four matches remaining.

The top two in each group earn automatic berths at South Africa 2010.

The reclusive coach will remain with the team as a technical advisor, the Saudi federation said in a statement, according to the Asian Football Confederation.

Al Johar took over last June after Brazilian Helios Dos Anjos was sacked, despite having steered the Gulf giants to the final round of World Cup qualifiers.

Al Johar's replacement, which local media reports say will be a foreigner, will become Saudi Arabia's 20th coach since 1994. Reporting by Martin Petty in Bangkok; Editing by Alison Wildey)

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