|Surprised: Coach Falko Goetz was fired after only seven months on the job due to his team's poor results at recent tournaments. — File Photo
HA NOI — The Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) and German coach Falko Goetz agreed to part company just seven months into a two-year contract yesterday.
Goetz, 50, who finished his New Year holiday in Germany last week, returned to Viet Nam to say goodbye following the unexpected development.
The German coach signed a two-year contract with the VFF in June to take charge of the U23 and senior teams.
At the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia last November, the U23 team failed to make it to the final and suffered a bitter 1-4 loss to Myanmar in the third-place playoff. Viet Nam are yet to win the SEA Games after a 50-year wait.
He was the eighth foreign coach in the country since 1996.
"I'm surprised to end the contract this soon after the holidays. As a professional coach, I have to accept the decision, but it's hard to do that," Goetz told reporters at a press conference yesterday.
"I want to thank the Vietnamese fans for their warm support every time the team played as well as co-operation from the VFF when I was working with the national and Olympic teams at the SEA Games and World Cup Asian Zone qualifiers." He said the U23s had tried their best at the SEA Games, but it hadn't been good enough.
During his time as coach, the national team crushed Macau 11-0 on aggregate in a two-leg knockout match in the World Cup Asian Zone qualifiers before eventually going out to Qatar on aggregate, despite winning the second leg in Ha Noi 2-1.
In a meeting last month, members of the VFF executive board agreed to terminate the contract of the German coach.
The former Hertha Berlin coach took up the post following the departure of Portuguese coach Henrique Calisto in March.
Goetz was given the task of coaching the national team to SEA Games gold in Indonesia last November.
Goetz, who formerly played for German Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, said he had not received any coaching offers from other clubs.
Since 1996, Viet Nam has parted company with seven foreign coaches including Brazilian Edson Araujo Tavares, Briton Colin Murphy, German Karl Heinz Weigang, Brazilian-born Dutchman Edson Silva Dido, Portuguese Henrique Calisto, Frenchman Christian Letard and Austrian Alfred Riedl.
Among them, former coach Henrique Calisto was the most successful, helping the national team win the ASEAN Football Championships, AFF-Suzuki Cup in 2008 after a 49-year wait. — VNS