Colombia's football federation announced the sacking of national football coach, Jorge Luis Pinto, Tuesday following the team's poor results in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.

Pinto came in for fierce criticism after two defeats, a 1-0 loss at home to Uruguay and then a 4-0 reverse against Chile in Santiago.

According to a spokesman for the national federation the decision was unanimous. "The target for us is to qualify for the World Cup finals," said federation president Luis Bedoya. "Jorge Luis Pinto will not continue to be coach of the national side.

"He will be replaced by Eduardo Lara." the president went on.

Lara has been in charge of both the U-17 and U-20 national sides.

"I was surprised by this news," said Lara. "As sad as I am by Pinto's exit, as an employee of the federation, I will do my utmost to achieve their expectations."

Colombia are presently sixth in the table after eight matches, three points adrift of the fourth and last automatic qualifying spot for the finals - though the fifth placed side goes into a two-leg playoff against the fourth-placed team in the North, Central Americans and Caribbean zone.