Venezuela coach quits

CARACAS - Venezuela national team coach Richard Paez resigned after clashing with fans and the press, the country's football authorities confirmed on Monday.

CARACAS - Venezuela national team coach Richard Paez resigned after clashing with fans and the press, the country's football authorities confirmed on Monday.

The President of the Venezuelan Football Federation, Rafael Esquivel, said Paez's resignation cannot be revoked and his job as national coach will end on December 31.

He had been under contract until the end of 2008.

Paez will leave as the most successful and longest-serving football coach in the history of Venezuela, the traditional weakling of South American sport.

He took over the national team on March 28, 2001. In the current South American qualifying round for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Venezuela is fifth, with five points after four games (of a total of 18).

Esquivel said a replacement will be appointed in early 2008.

In last week's game against Bolivia in San Cristobal, which the host Venezuela won 5-3 with late goals, many fans demanded Paez's resignation and the exit of the coach's son, Ricardo David, from the national team.

The coach rejected the criti- cism and told fans to "go manage their homes" because he was boss in the national team. - Sapa-dpa and AFP

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