Frank Rijkaard has been sacked as the coach of Saudi Arabia just halfway through his three-year contract.
The 50-year-old Dutchman – who was in charge of Barcelona from 2003 to 2008 – lost his job following the recent Gulf Cup of Nations, in which Saudi Arabia failed to make it out of the group stages.
They opened the tournament with a 2-0 defeat to Iraq and although a win by the same scoreline against Yemen restored some pride, a 1-0 loss to Kuwait on Sunday ended the country’s hopes.
And the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) acted swiftly to dispense with Rijkaard’s services as a result of the failure at the Gulf Cup.
“It has been agreed with the Dutchman Mr Frank Rijkaard to terminate his contract,” an official statement on the SAFF website read.
“We would like to thank Mr Rijkaard and wish him every success in the next step of his career.”
Sergio Lopez Caro and Salman Quraini will replace Rijkaard for Saudi Arabia’s Asian Cup qualifiers next month.
Rijkaard played for Ajax and AC Milan in an outstanding 15-year playing career, while he also made 73 appearances for his country.