11 Apr 2017

Argentina sack coach as All Whites becomes more likely

12:47 pm on 11 April 2017

Argentina have sacked coach Edgardo Bauza after a string of poor results in South American qualifying left them struggling to reach the 2018 Football World Cup finals in Russia.

Argentina, whose captain Lionel Messi has been banned for four matches for insulting a match official, are fifth in the South American group with four qualifiers remaining.

The top four in the 10-nation group go through to the 2018 finals in Russia, while the fifth-placed country qualifies for a playoff against the Oceania top qualifier, which could well be New Zealand.

Lionel Messi (right) and his Argentina side could play the All Whites for a place at the 2018 World Cup.

Lionel Messi (right) and his Argentina side could play the All Whites for a place at the 2018 World Cup. Photo: Photosport

Media reports have linked Sevilla's Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli, who has never disguised his ambition to take charge of the national team, with the Argentine top job after he steered neighbouring Chile to the Copa America title in 2015.

"We've reached an agreement, we've told Bauza he's ceased to be the national team coach," the Argentine FA's recently elected president Claudio Tapia said.

-Reuters