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Updated January 6th, 2024 at 09:26 IST

Brazil coach Fernando Diniz fired; Sao Paulo's Dorival Júnior could replace him

Fernando Diniz, Brazil's coach, was fired on Friday. Dorival Jnior of Sao Paulo is the frontrunner to replace him.

Fernando Diniz
Fluminense’s coach Fernando Diniz attends a press conference at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia | Image: AP
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Brazil coach Fernando Diniz was fired on Friday, a source close to the decision told the Associated Press. The front-runner to replace him is Dorival Júnior from Sao Paulo.

The source at the Brazilian Football Confederation, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to discuss the firing, said the decision came from CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues.

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Rodrigues was returned to office by Brazil's Supreme Court on Thursday, one month after another court ousted him and his directors.

Diniz split the Brazil job with coaching Fluminense, the Copa Libertadores champion. He was contracted to the middle of the year as Rodrigues expected Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti to take the Brazil job before the Copa America in June in the United States. But Ancelotti recently extended his stay at Madrid.

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“Ednaldo spoke to Diniz this morning," the source said. "The reason is his need to find a coach that will stay until the 2026 World Cup. His deal with Diniz was for him to stay until Ancelotti came. Since Ancelotti will not come, there needs to be a change. Fluminense's president was also informed.”

The source also said an offer was prepared for Sao Paulo coach Dorival Júnior, who has won the Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Cup.

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Brazil is sixth in South American World Cup qualifying, eight points behind leader Argentina. South America has six qualifying spots for the 2026 tournament. The seventh-placed team will go into intercontinental playoffs.

Diniz was Brazil's coach in all six games so far. They beat Bolivia and Peru, drew with Venezuela at home, and lost to Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina. The next two rounds are in September after the Copa America.

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The move comes three days before FIFA and CONMEBOL executives visit to discuss alleged third-party interference at the top of the CBF, which was reversed by the Supreme Court's decision. FIFA was threatening to suspend Brazil from international competitions because of it.

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Published January 6th, 2024 at 09:26 IST

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