Craig Levein sacked as Scotland manager

 

Craig Levein has finally paid the price for Scotland's poor start to their World Cup qualifying campaign after being “relieved of his duties” as national team manager.

The Scottish Football Association board delivered their verdict on his near-three-year tenure this evening after protracted deliberations.

Scotland Under-21 coach Billy Stark will take temporary charge of the team with his first task to name a squad for next Wednesday's friendly in Luxembourg.

A statement read: "The Scottish FA tonight announces that Craig Levein has been relieved of his duties as Scotland national coach.

"The board of the Scottish FA has taken the decision primarily due to the disappointing results in the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 Qualifiers, which have culminated in Scotland being bottom of the group after four matches."

The SFA stressed they would "honour Craig's contract" after Levein pleaded with chief executive Stewart Regan and president Campbell Ogilvie to be allowed to stay on until the end of the World Cup campaign.

In a statement, Regan said: "We are taking this decision with real sadness.

"Craig has worked hard to bring success, and has been thoroughly professional in his approach to the job.

"He has achieved a great deal with the team and in other areas, such as the performance strategy. However, he would be the first to agree that football is a results-driven business.

"For that reason we have relieved Craig of his duties with immediate effect.

"Billy Stark will take interim charge of the team for the friendly against Luxembourg. There will be a short delay in announcing that squad, which Billy will select, and we have informed the Luxembourg FA of this development.

"After the Luxembourg match, the board will meet to begin the process of identifying and recruiting the next national coach to take us forward. We will give ourselves time, given our fixture schedule, to find the right person for the job.

"The challenge for the squad now is to improve our position in Group A and, subsequently, improve our position in the FIFA rankings.

"We also must begin preparations for the UEFA European Championships in France in 2016, which for the first time will have 24 qualification places available."

PA

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