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Brazil sack interim coach Diniz, Sao Paulo's Dorival Junior the favourite to take over

Updated
Fernando Diniz combined his work for Brazil with his duties at Fluminense
Fernando Diniz combined his work for Brazil with his duties at FluminenseReuters
Coach Fernando Diniz (49) will no longer be in charge of the Brazil national team, said the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) on Friday.

Diniz, who was appointed on an interim basis, had a one-year contract but led Brazil for six games in the 2026 World Cup qualifying round, with three defeats, one draw and two wins. He combined his work with Fluminense, the club with which he won the Copa Libertadores last year.

"The CBF thanks Fernando Diniz for the work he has done, for all his dedication and seriousness, and for the challenge of renewing the Brazilian national team during his tenure. We wish Fernando Diniz the best of luck," the sports governing body said in a statement.

President Ednaldo Rodrigues spoke to Fluminense president Mario Bittencourt on Thursday about the decision to hire a permanent coach to prepare the team for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Sao Paulo coach Dorival Junior is being considered for the job, two sources told Reuters.

"Diniz's departure is due to the national team's results, which were not as expected," said one of the sources. Brazil are in sixth place in the South American World Cup qualifying standings.

 

The CBF was looking to Carlo Ancelotti to take over this year, but the Italian preferred to renew his contract with Real Madrid. Now, Rodrigues' favourite to lead the team is Dorival, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Ednaldo has already opened talks with the president of Sao Paulo, Julio Casares, to express his interest in Dorival Jr," said the second source.

"He explained that he was in a hurry and wanted Dorival soon because of the start of the season. Julio said he was going to talk to Dorival and that the situation would be resolved by Monday."

The decision came a day after Rodrigues returned to the helm of the CBF, thanks to a decision by Minister Gilmar Mendes, of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), after being removed in early December by the Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice.

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