Romania sack coach Piturca
© AFP

Victor Piturca has been sacked as Romania coach, after a disappointing run of results that look to have derailed their quest to appear at next year's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.

"Piturca has been relieved of his post," said Dumitru Dragomir, head of the Romanian Football Federation (FRF). "We haven't decided on his replacement, that will be made later on."

Romania's most recent defeat, a 2-1 loss against Austria on 1 April, dropped them to fifth place in European Zone, Group 7 with only four points from five matches, effectively ending any hopes they had of qualifying for next year's showpiece.

Group 7 is currently being led by Serbia, on 12 points, with France on ten, Lituania on nine, and Austria on seven.

We're satisfied with the list of possible successors and I'm sure we won't be looking at a foreign coach.
Romanian Football Federation president Mircea Sandu following the sacking of Victor Piturca

An overseas appointment was ruled out by FRF president Mircea Sandu. "We're satisfied with the list of possible successors which I don't want to name, and I'm sure we won't be looking at a foreign manager," he stated.

Among the names on the short-list to replace Piturca are Romanian legend Gheorghe Hagi, his team-mate in the glory years of the 1990s, Dan Petrescu, Mircea Lucescu and his son Razvan, who coach Shakhtar Dontesk and Brasov respectively.