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Brazil speedy in firing its coach

RIO DE JANEIRO — After Friday's quarterfinal loss to the Netherlands, Brazil coach Dunga hinted that he likely would not seek to extend his soon-to-expire contract.

Sunday, his bosses made that decision for him.

The Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) fired Dunga and his staff two days after the 2-1 defeat in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Brazil led 1-0 on Robinho's first-half goal but allowed two goals and had a player sent off in a dismal second half.

A new coach will be appointed this month, CBF said.

Former Brazil player Mano Menezes, AC Milan coach Leonardo and Wanderley Luxemburgo are mentioned as potential successors.

Meanwhile, Luiz Felipe Scolari is not planning a second stint as coach of his native land to replace Dunga. He's also not ruling it out.

Scolari led Brazil to the 2002 title but says his job for the next two years will be with Brazilian club Palmeiras.

"It would be wonderful to finish my career coaching a national team in the World Cup in Brazil," Scolari told Brazil's Radio Eldorado in South Africa, where he is working as a commentator for a local TV network. "But I won't be able to accept any offers until after 2012."

The new coach likely will face several exhibitions the next few months — including one against the United States, Aug. 10 in East Rutherford, N.J. — then Copa America, South America's championship, in 2011 in Argentina.

NETHERLANDS: Robin van Persie has been cleared to face Uruguay in Tuesday's semifinal despite the left elbow injury he suffered against Brazil. Team spokeswoman Monique Kessels says a scan showed the injury was not as serious as first feared. The striker trained apart from the other players Sunday. Kessels said D Joris Mathijsen is fit to play after missing the Brazil match with a last-second right knee injury.

SPAIN: Coach Vicente del Bosque might bench struggling striker Fernando Torres for Wednesday's semifinal against Germany. Torres, 26, is scoreless in five matches at the World Cup after knee surgery in April. He hasn't scored in a competitive international since the Confederations Cup a year ago.

URUGUAY: Captain Diego Lugano, who injured a right knee ligament in the quarterfinal win against Ghana, was able to jog in training Sunday, raising hopes he could be fit for Tuesday's match.

RONALDO BABY: Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored just once in four matches as his team was eliminated in the round of 16, said he has become a father. Ronaldo, 25, said a woman he declined to identify had given birth to their son.

ODDS AND ENDS: Spain is a 9-5 favorite to win the tournament in odds by BetUS.com. Germany and the Netherlands are 2-1 and Uruguay is 10-1. … The Nigerian Football Federation fired its two leaders, trying to appease the nation's president. In a statement, the federation's executive committee said it fired president Sani Lulu and vice president Amanze Ugbulam. Nigeria's 0-2-1 performance in Group B prompted President Goodluck Jonathan to suspend the team from international competition for two years.

Up next

Semifinals

• Uruguay vs. Netherlands, 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, ESPN

• Germany vs. Spain,

2:30 p.m. Wednesday, ESPN

Brazil speedy in firing its coach 07/04/10 [Last modified: Sunday, July 4, 2010 10:58pm]
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