Blind sacked as Dutch coach after WC flop

AMSTERDAM: Danny Blind was sacked as Netherlands coach on Sunday after a 2-0 defeat to Bulgaria left the team’s chances of reaching the World Cup finals hanging by the slenderest of threads.
Blind, 55, had been in charge since July 2015, succeeding Guus Hiddink, but Saturday’s loss in Sofia left the Dutch in fourth place in qualifying Group A, six points behind leaders France. Only the group winners are guaranteed a place in the 2018 finals in Russia.
Blind said he was saddened by the decision.
“We were on the right track in Bulgaria, but it’s a pity that it ends like this,” he said.
Blind’s assistant Fred Grim will take charge of the team for Tuesday’s friendly against Italy in Amsterdam, the Dutch football federation (KNVB) said.
“We (the federation) have a lot of respect for Danny, but due to negative results and the difficulty we have to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, we must part company with him,” said the KNVB in a statement.
The Netherlands, three-times World Cup runners-up, also failed to qualify for Euro 2016.
“To qualify for Russia will be very complicated,” admitted star midfielder Wesley Sneijder.
The writing was already on the wall for Blind after he was summoned to meet the federation in the aftermath of the Bulgarian setback. —  AFP