Marc Wilmots sacked as Belgium head coach following poor Euro 2016

Belgium head coach Marc Wilmots

Marc Wilmots has been sacked as Belgium head coach following the national team’s poor showing at Euro 2016.

Belgium’s star-studded team, ranked No2 in Fifa’s world rankings, lost 3-1 to Wales in the quarter-finals and generally underwhelmed during their time in France.

“The Royal Belgian Football Association have made an agreement with Marc Wilmots to end his contract, that lasted until 2018,” read an official statement on the Belgian FA’s website. “With Marc Wilmots as a head coach, the Red Devils have climbed from the 54th position to the top of the Fifa world ranking. He managed to win 34 games out of 51, including eight draws. Above all, the fans have reinstalled their love for the Belgian Red Devils during this period.

“The RBFA’s technical commission have made an evaluation of the recent Euro 2016 and have declared that the intended goals have not been reached. There is a common sense that the team needs a new impulse to lead this group towards a top result at a major tournament.”

Wilmots, who won 70 caps as a player, became Belgium head coach in 2012 having previously been assistant to Dick Advocaat and later Georges Leekens. He led the side to the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup, where they lost 1-0 to Argentina, and then to this summer’s European Championship finals via an impressive qualifying campaign in which they topped Group B, winning seven of their 10 fixtures.

Belgium went into Euro 2016 as one of the favourites. The squad was made up of the country’s so-called “golden generation”, containing the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku. However, they were far from impressive and were ultimately well beaten by Chris Coleman’s side in Lille.

“The Belgian FA will immediately start the procedure to find a new head coach, in a transparent way,” continued the statement. “The idea is to start the upcoming games in September with a new coach, beginning with an international friendly game in Brussels against Spain on 1 September.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Guardian sport, for The Guardian on Friday 15th July 2016 14.42 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010