The sacking of the Spaniard came after Qatar’s Al-Annabi made an early exit from the FIFA World Cup 2022 – its first appearance at the tournament as host nation.
Spaniard Felix Sanchez, Qatar’s former national team coach, is back on the pitch taking over the Ecuador team, the national football federation (FEF) announced on Saturday.
Referencing the appointment based on the 47-year-old’s achievements and background, Sanchez will usher La Tri into the friendlies against Australia this March.
He is replacing Gustavo Alfaro, who refused to renew his contract after being knocked out at Qatar’s World Cup in the group stage after a 2-1 loss to Senegal.
The Argentinan became Ecuador’s coach in 2020, leading them in 35 matches.
Alfaro piloted the South American squad to reach the World Cup finals for the fourth time after finishing fourth in South America, qualifying behind Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay to ultimately beat Sanchez’s Qatar squad 2-0.
After the curtain fell from the World Cup, Sanchez and Qatar’s footballing body bowed out mutually from renewing the Al-Annabi coach’s contract.
“QFA and Mr. Felix Sanchez have decided together not to extend into a new contract,” the statement titled ‘Thank You Sánchez’ said.
“After his contract finishes on 31st December, both coach Felix and the QFA have jointly decided this is a good moment to begin a new chapter,” the statement added.
Sanchez held his position since 2017 and led the team to an erratic Asian Cup win in 2019.
“The past 5.5 years with Qatar’s senior national team have been a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said.
“I can only thank the QFA, Sheikh Hamad the president and the country’s leaders for the trust and support during a period in which we achieved a lot together.
Qatar, its people and its football will always be in my heart. Now is a good time to let others take on the responsibility of the team and for me to explore new challenges”.
Former Iran coach Carlos Queiroz is the new Al Annabi manager in the Qatar driving seat until 2026.