Trinidad and Tobago have accepted the resignation of head coach Francisco 'Pacho' Maturana and his technical staff, following a meeting of the dual-island nation's football authorities on 8 April.
The Colombian tactician, who took over the post last year, was never able to shift into high gear with the Soca Warriors, who became the smallest country to qualify for a FIFA World Cup™ when they reached Germany 2006. He will be replaced, in an interim capacity, by 41-year-old Russell Latapy, who still plays in the national team and was one of Maturana's assistant coaches.
"The TTFF wishes to thank Coach Francisco Maturana and his technical staff for their service to our nation's football these past months," T&T's FA said in a statement.
Latapy was player-coach of Scottish Premier League side Falkirk before stepping down this year to focus on the national team. He is considered one of the country's greatest-ever players alongside teammate Dwight Yorke.
Stints at FC Porto and Glasgow Rangers as a player have him held in high regard in his native land. Latapy will be assisted by successful U-20 boss Zoran Vranes, who recently led the youth team to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009.
Under Maturana, Trinidad failed to find their rhythm in the final round of qualifying in the North, Central American and Caribbean Zone, picking up only two points from three matches and languishing on the bottom of the final six-team 'hexagonal.'
Their next 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa qualifying match is at home to Costa Rica on 6 June, followed by an away clash with Mexico four days later.