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On This Day in 2009: Sven-Goran Eriksson sacked as Mexico head coach

The Swedish former England boss lost his job after a damaging 3-1 World Cup qualifying defeat by Honduras (PA Wire)
The Swedish former England boss lost his job after a damaging 3-1 World Cup qualifying defeat by Honduras (PA Wire)

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson was sacked as head coach of Mexico on this day in 2009.

The Swede, who left Manchester City in June 2008, had replaced Hugo Sanchez 10 months earlier.

Eriksson, though, lost his job after a damaging 3-1 defeat away to Honduras which put Mexico’s World Cup qualification hopes in jeopardy.

Sven-Goran Eriksson looks thoughtful as he watches training
Sven-Goran Eriksson was sacked by Mexico after poor results in their World Cup qualification campaign (Martin Rickett/PA)

It was Mexico’s second loss in three qualifying matches and left them fourth in their six-team group – with the prospect of facing a fifth-placed South American team in a play-off not an enticing one.

Just one win in previous qualification matches had put Eriksson – criticised for not being able to communicate his strategy to the players and never really understanding Mexican football – under pressure.

The defeat by Honduras in San Pedro Sula forced the Mexican Football Federation to act, with the national team not having won away from home for more than two years.

“We could not take risks with qualification for the World Cup. We cannot allow qualification to depend on winning all our home games,” said president Justino Compean.

Eriksson took his sacking with his customary composure.

“I would have liked to have been on the bench in South Africa, but that is football,” he said in his newly learned Spanish.

The Swede went on to have a spell as director of football at Notts County and also further management jobs with the Ivory Coast and Leicester as well as a couple of clubs in China.

In October 2018, Eriksson replaced former England defender Terry Butcher – who had quit before taking charge of a game – as the new head coach of the Philippines national team on a short-term deal, leaving after three months.