x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Saudi Arabia cancel agreement with new Brazilian coach

The football federation refused to accept his request to join them at a later date to fulfil his earlier obligations.

RIYADH // Saudi Arabia's football federation announced that they have decided not to appoint Ricardo Gomes as coach of the national side after failing to reach agreement over his contract start date.

The experienced Brazilian had requested to push back his arrival in the Middle East in order to respect the terms of his contract with current club Vasco da Gama.

The Saudi federation said they would have preferred that the 46-year-old start the job earlier and have handed the reins to another Brazilian, Morris Lorinzo, who coaches their under-20 side.

Ricardo guided Vasco Da Gama to Brazilian Cup glory this season and had been reported to have agreed a three-year deal with the Saudis worth $9 million (Dh33m).

Saudi Arabia have been without a manager since the sacking of Portuguese boss Jose Peseiro after his side crashed out of January's Asian Cup in Qatar, losing all three games, and need to prepare for Asian qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Ricardo has already coached at club level in Saudi Arabia as well as spells in France with Bordeaux, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco, and Sao Paulo and Vasco da Gama in his native Brazil.

Born in Rio in 1964 he played for three clubs — Fluminense, PSG and Benfica — before turning to management in 1996.