AFC Asian Cup 2023: Qatar Football Association Fires Head Coach Carlos Queiroz Ahead Of Tournament

QFA said that the agreement with Carlos Queiroz ended with a mutual agreement. Spanish coach Marquez Lopez will replace Queiroz as head coach. Qatar is all set to host the AFC Asian Cup 2023

File image of Carlos Queiroz

Carlos Queiroz was fired as Qatar's head coach just over a month before the nation hosts the Asian Cup. (More Football News)

Queiroz, former coach of Real Madrid, Portugal and Iran, was appointed on a four-year contract in February after Felix Sanchez left the position. Sanchez was in charge at the 2022 World when Qatar, as host, lost all three games.

The football federation issued a statement Wednesday saying "Queiroz's tenure as head coach of the Qatar national team has ended amicably by mutual agreement."

"The QFA expresses its sincere gratitude to coach Queiroz for his unwavering dedication, leadership, and contributions during his tenure as the head coach of the national team."

No official reason was given for the decision, although there were concerns locally over the perceived defensive style of play adopted by Queiroz and his failure to bring young players from the country's Aspire Academy into the senior roster. 

Queiroz rejected that speculation. He was in charge for just 11 games, including wins at the start of qualification for the 2026 World Cup in November over Afghanistan and India. 

Just minutes after news of Queiroz's departure became official, the QFA announced Spanish coach Marquez Lopez had been hired as a replacement. The former Espanyol boss has also worked in Qatar's Aspire Academy and leaves Qatar Stars League club Al-Wakrah to take over the national team.

"The QFA expresses gratitude and appreciation to Al-Wakrah Sports Club for their cooperation and consent in facilitating coach Marquez Lopez's appointment as the national team head coach for the upcoming period," the QFA said.

Qatar is due to start a training camp in mid-December for the Asian Cup.

The 2022 World Cup hosts took on the staging of the continental championship after China relinquished the rights. Qatar, which won the 2019 Asian title under Sanchez, will face Lebanon, Tajikistan and China in Group A.