Javier Clemente has been released from his contract as coach of Serbia following his side's failure to qualify for UEFA EURO 2008™.
First Serbia coach
Clemente's contract had been due to expire at the end of December, when the possibility of a new two-year deal was expected to be discussed – instead the Serbian Football Association decided to sever ties with the Spaniard early. The 57-year-old became the country's first head coach when he was appointed a week after Serbia had been granted full membership of UEFA in July 2006 following the dissolution of the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro.
Serbia finished third behind Poland and Portugal in Group 1 in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2008™. They drew all four of their games against those two sides but dropped points against some of the less-fancied teams, including a 2-1 defeat in Kazakhstan and a goalless draw in Armenia. Clemente had been given two targets when he replaced Ilija Petković as coach on 19 July 2006: to build a new and youthful side and to qualify for Austria and Switzerland. The first he achieved, promoting no fewer than 12 Under-21 players, but Serbia's 2008 failure resulted in his departure. Clemente's successor will be named on 24 January 2008.
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