Australia Fires Soccer Coach Following Second 6-0 Defeat

Australian soccer’s governing body fired Holger Osieck, the head coach of its national team, following 6-0 losses to France and Brazil.

Assistant coach Aurelio Vidmar was named as caretaker head coach of the Socceroos, Football Federation Australia said today in an e-mailed statement. The team’s defeat yesterday in Paris followed a loss in Brasilia on Sept. 7.

“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,” Frank Lowy, the billionaire chairman of FFA, said in the statement. “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.”

German-born Osieck was put in charge of the Australian soccer team in 2010 after the Socceroos’ World Cup campaign in South Africa, taking over from Pim Verbeek. While the team has qualified for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil under Osieck’s guidance, it has also seen its world ranking fall to 53 from 26 at the end of 2010.

Australia is set to host the Asian Cup tournament for the first time in 2015. The Socceroos are scheduled to play their next match against Canada in London on Oct. 15.

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