CARACAS Dec 18 Venezuela named 34-year-old
Cesar Farias as the replacement for Richard Paez as the
national team coach on Tuesday.
The Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF) said in a
statement that Farias would lead the team until the end of the
World Cup qualifiers in October 2009.
Farias, coach of provincial club Deportivo Anzoategui, has
yet to win a major title and was widely regarded as the second
candidate for the job after Caracas FC boss Noel Sanvincente.
Farias led Deportivo Tachira to the quarter-finals of the
South American Libertadores Cup in 2004, where they lost to
eventual champions Sao Paulo of Brazil. On the way, they
eliminated Nacional of Uruguay.
Paez, who resigned last month after he was insulted by the
home crowd during a 5-3 win over Bolivia, had been in charge
for more than six years, a period in which he transformed the
team's fortunes and will prove a hard act to follow.
Long-regarded as the ugly ducklings of South American
soccer, Venezuela had only ever won three World Cup qualifiers
before Paez was promoted from the under-20 team in January
Although they lost 5-0 to Argentina on his debut the
following March, they won four qualifiers in a row later the
They also won five matches in the qualifying competition
for the 2006 finals, including the 3-0 win in Uruguay.
Venezuela, the only South American country never to have
played at a World Cup, have taken six points from their first
four games in the South American group.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by