Danny Blind fired as coach of Dutch football team

Following Saturday's damaging 2-0 World Cup qualification defeat to Bulgaria, Netherlands have sacked head coach Danny Blind.

The 2-0 defeat - their second in qualifying in just five games - saw them leapfrogged by their opponents and leaves them well adrift of Group A leaders France and Sweden.

The 55-year-old had questioned his own future following Saturday's loss in Sofia, which left the Dutch six points off the pace at the halfway stage of the European qualifying campaign for the 2018 finals in Russian Federation.

Their World Cup qualifying campaign hadn't started much better either, so a clash with Bulgaria on Saturday evening looked pivotal to their hopes of reaching the finals in Russian Federation.

Under-21 boss Fred Grim will take interim charge when Netherlands host Italy in a friendly at the Amsterdam Arena.

But worse was to come four minutes later as De Ligt let a speculative high ball fall over his shoulder and collided with goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet, allowing Spas Delev to tap in for the opening goal in just the fifth minute, his first worldwide strike.

Luxembourg levelled after 34 minutes thanks to Aurelien Joachim's penalty, his country's first goal against France in 39 years.

Netherlands captain Arjen Robben stuck by his coach after the match, saying the players were also responsible.


The lively Delev struck twice in quick succession in the first 20 minutes, pouncing on sloppy defending by 17-year-old Matthijs De Ligt, who became the youngest Netherlands player since 1931. So many "incidents" can not be mere coincidence and these poor results make Blind's parting shot sound delusional.

After the match Blind questioned whether he was still the man for the job.

"We have respect for what Danny meant for us and the team during his tenure", said KNVB director Jean Paul Decossaux.

Decossaux revealed "all options are options" with regards to the prospect of eventually appointing a foreign coach, something which the KNVB have not done since Austrian Ernst Happel guided Holland to the 1978 World Cup final.

"A foreign coach is an option and our list should include all kinds of names".

"Ronald Koeman is undoubtedly capable, but I know he is under contract with a club".

Who'll replace Blind? Louis van Gaal, who took the Dutch just three years ago at the World Cup in Brazil, is available.


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