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Blanc booted out by Qatar club Al-Rayyan

Doha (AFP) – Qatar club Al-Rayyan said Sunday that French coach Laurent Blanc has been replaced, with the World Cup winner paying for poor results despite big money signings.

Blanc’s side are just ninth in the 12-team Qatar Stars League despite fielding Colombian James Rodriguez, Steven Nzonzi of France and Algerian Yacine Brahimi.

The club said in a Tweet that former Chilean international Nicolas Cordova, who is in charge of Qatar’s under-23 side, would take over coaching duties. “He replaces Frenchman Laurent Blanc”.

A club source told AFP that “it was agreed to end the relationship”.

The announcement came just two days after Al-Rayyan could only manage a 1-1 draw with bottom team Al-Sailiya though reports have indicated for several weeks that Blanc’s job was under threat.

The 56-year-old moved to Qatar in December 2020 and persuaded the club to spend on foreign imports in a bid to end Al-Saad’s dominance of the league.

They lost to their old rivals on penalties in the Emir’s Cup, the main domestic knockout tournament, in October but results have been poor in this year’s league.

Blanc won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship with France in 2000. He was the national coach from 2010 to 2012 before three seasons at Paris Saint-Germain.

Cordova scored Chile’s equaliser when they drew 1-1 with the French side managed by Blanc at Montpellier in 2011.

He will only coach Al-Rayyan until the end of the season because of his duties with the Qatari national side.

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