Austria coach stepping down after failing to reach World Cup

March 28, 2022 GMT
Austria head coach Franco Foda, center, looks on as players Andreas Weimann and Marko Arnautovic, left, train during a training session ahead of Thursday's World Cup 2022 play-off soccer match between Wales and Austria, at the Cardiff City Stadium, Wales, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
Austria head coach Franco Foda, center, looks on as players Andreas Weimann and Marko Arnautovic, left, train during a training session ahead of Thursday's World Cup 2022 play-off soccer match between Wales and Austria, at the Cardiff City Stadium, Wales, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
Austria head coach Franco Foda, center, looks on as players Andreas Weimann and Marko Arnautovic, left, train during a training session ahead of Thursday's World Cup 2022 play-off soccer match between Wales and Austria, at the Cardiff City Stadium, Wales, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
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Austria head coach Franco Foda, center, looks on as players Andreas Weimann and Marko Arnautovic, left, train during a training session ahead of Thursday's World Cup 2022 play-off soccer match between Wales and Austria, at the Cardiff City Stadium, Wales, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
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Austria head coach Franco Foda, center, looks on as players Andreas Weimann and Marko Arnautovic, left, train during a training session ahead of Thursday's World Cup 2022 play-off soccer match between Wales and Austria, at the Cardiff City Stadium, Wales, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

VIENNA, Austria (AP) — Austria coach Franco Foda will leave his position after the friendly match against Scotland on Tuesday after failing to lead his team to the World Cup.

Foda used a news conference on Monday to suddenly announce his imminent departure, saying the time was right because “we couldn’t fulfill our big dream.”

Austria lost 2-1 to Wales in the semifinals of the World Cup playoffs on Thursday.

“I’ve had a lot of thoughts over the past few days,” Foda said, “and I take full responsibility for the fact that we didn’t qualify for the World Cup. So my job as team manager ends after the Scotland game.”

The 55-year-old Foda was hired as Austria coach at the end of 2017. The team played at Euro 2020.

“My successor can look forward to a team with impeccable character that has a lot of potential for development,” he said. “I am convinced that we will have a lot of fun with the national team in the years to come.”

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