Soccer-Frank de Boer quits as Dutch coach after Euro 2020 elimination

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Euro 2020 - Round of 16 - Netherlands v Czech Republic

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -Netherlands coach Frank de Boer has resigned two days after his side were beaten 2-0 by the Czech Republic and eliminated in the last 16 of the European Championship, the Dutch football association KNVB said on Tuesday.

It came amid a continuing fallout for the Dutch coach after his side had shown early promise at the tournament but then flattered to deceive.

“After consultations this afternoon, it has been decided that both parties will separate with immediate effect,” the association said in a statement.

“Frank de Boer has announced that he does not want to continue, which is also in line with the contract between both parties, which required a place in the quarter-finals. That contract will not be renewed,” it added.

De Boer said he had decided to quit before the meeting.

"In anticipation of the evaluation, I decided not to continue as national coach. The objective has not been achieved, that is clear,” he said of the defeat at the Euros.

The Dutch won their three group games but then lost a knockout round match in which they were overwhelming favourites.

“When I was approached to become national coach in 2020, I thought it was an honour and a challenge, but I was also aware of the pressure that would come upon me from the moment I was appointed. That pressure is only increasing now, and that is not a healthy situation for me, nor for the squad in the run-up to World Cup qualification.”

A newspaper poll on Tuesday showed 90% of respondents felt De Boer should go. He upset Dutch sensibilities by abandoning their traditional 4-3-3 approach and playing instead with a 5-3-2 formation at the Euros.

It caused major stir in a country obsessed with the team’s tactical approach. While De Boer quelled the debate when his side was winning in the group phase, he was immediately under fire again after Sunday’s defeat, not only for abandoning the "Holland school of football" but also for the substitutions he made in the match after the Dutch had Matthijs de Ligt sent off.

SUCCESSOR

“A successor must now be found by me, after good internal consultation. It is imperative to do so, because September 1 we will be playing the important qualifier against Norway in Oslo,” said KNVB director of football Nico-Jan Hoogma.

“The choice for Frank turned out differently than we had hoped,” he added.

De Boer took over as successor to Ronald Koeman last year, winning eight of 15 games in charge.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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