Colombia have sacked Carlos Queiroz as manager, just weeks after a humiliating 6-1 defeat by Ecuador.
The World Cup qualifying drubbing put Queiroz, who was twice Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United, on the brink of the sack after another 3-0 reverse at home to Uruguay days earlier.
It was Colombia’s worst qualifying defeat in 43 years and left them seventh in the notoriously difficult South American group, with just one win from four games.
Carlos Queiroz was sacked by Colombia after his side shipped six against Ecuador
The 6-1 defeat for James Rodriguez (left) and Co followed a 3-0 reverse to Uruguay days earlier
A statement said: ‘The Colombian Football Federation and the technical director Carlos Queiroz agreed the coach would not continue as head of the Colombian Men’s National Team.
‘For the FCF, it was an honour to have him for almost two years, in which he gave us his full capacity, knowledge and experience.
‘The contribution that you leave us will serve to continue the development of the projects that are being carried out with all the national teams of our country.
‘We wish Professor Carlos Queiroz and his team the best in their future career plans.’
The 67-year-old Queiroz, who has also managed Real Madrid and Portugal, only took over in February last year and guided Colombia to the quarter-finals of the Copa America, where they lost on penalties to Chile.
But his short tenure was not free of incident, with James Rodriguez strongly denying reports of a dressing room bust-up involving Jefferson Lerma and Davinson Sanchez after the Uruguay defeat last month.
Queiroz guided Colombia to the Copa America quarter-finals, losing on penalties to Chile
He said: ‘I deny all types of alleged information relating to abusive behaviour, attacks, fights and all types of controversy among players and in which I have been mentioned as the protagonist.
‘What happened on the pitch and the unfortunate results went no further than what the game entails.
‘It is a difficult period for us in sporting terms and as players we are the first to recognise our responsibility.
Colombia are seventh in World Cup qualifying, with just one win from four games
‘As a group, however, we are staying strong and our dream of qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar remains intact, which is something we will work even harder to achieve.’
Colombia face an uphill task to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, starting with a difficult home match against top-of-the-table Brazil in March.
That will be followed by a trip to fourth-placed Paraguay, who held Argentina to a 1-1 draw in the last international break.
Only the top four South American sides go through to the finals, with the fifth-placed team – currently Uruguay – advancing to an inter-confederation play-off.