Sergio Batista has agreed to step down as coach of Argentina after their quarter-final exit at the Copa America. Hosts Argentina went out to champions Uruguay on penalties in the last eight.
Batista, 48, had been in charge for a year, initially on a caretaker basis, after Diego Maradona was dismissed following the 2010 World Cup.
An Argentine Football Association (AFA) spokesman said Batista had not been sacked, but it had been decided to ï¿½rescindï¿½ the coachï¿½s contract. ï¿½He put his future as the head of the national team up for consideration by the executive committee,ï¿½ added spokesman Ernesto Bialo.
Argentina, whose last major trophy was their 1993 Copa America triumph, have cancelled a friendly scheduled for 10 August against Romania in Bucharest. ï¿½The coaching staff of Argentina teams at all levels are under evaluation by the national teams commission,ï¿½ added Bialo.
ï¿½There are no deadlines, thereï¿½s no rush, no urgency [to appoint a new coach] so there will be a process of consideration and study.ï¿½
Batista oversaw a disappointing Copa America campaign that started with Argentina drawing their first two group games, against Bolivia and Colombia.
Meanwhile the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) said on Tuesday it will seek compensation after Argentina cancelled their August 10 friendly. ï¿½I will write to FIFA and ask for substantial compensation,ï¿½ FRF chairman Mircea Sandu told a press conference.
Sandu stressed Argentina were bound by a $1.2 million contract to play the friendly in Bucharest. Romanian authorities had planned months in advance to inaugurate a stylish 55,000-seat stadium, the National Arena, on this occasion.
With some 38,000 tickets already sold, the federation must now find another opponent for the Romanian squad. ï¿½We will try to convince Portugal to cancel their friendly against Luxemburg and come to Bucharest instead,ï¿½ he said.
If this plan fails too, the stadium will be inaugurated on September 6 when Romania are due to play against France in the Euro 2012 qualifiers. ï¿½We must remain optimistic because we need to host a major squad for the inauguration,ï¿½ said Sandu.
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