José Pékerman, 73, broke his ties with Venezuela. This was established this Wednesday by the Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF), which also reported the departure of Pascual Lezcano, agent of the Argentine coach and manager of the national teams. “For the FVF, it is essential that all those who make up our work team share the highest standards of commitment and delivery,” said the Venezuelan organization, without offering further details about the reason for closing this contract. Instead, as EL PAÍS learned, the former coach of the Albiceleste moved away from the Red wine for alleged breaches by the FVF of commitments made, which the coach and his staff considered essential when they took over the reins of the South American team.
“We will continue working to guarantee that these standards are met, giving the best for our sport, with professionalism, seriousness and rigor,” the Venezuelan federation concluded about the controversial departure of Pékerman. The Argentine, for now, has not spoken. In 2021, in the act of his official presentation, Pékerman had assured that he was “in the right place.” And, then, he downplayed the federation’s defaults that precipitated the departure of José Peseiro, his predecessor in office. “It was a management of another leadership,” recalled, at that time, the Argentine coach.
Pékerman’s idea was to create a long-term project, as he had done in the Argentine team – he began as coordinator of the lower categories in 1994 and ended as coach of the senior team in 2006 – and also in Colombia (2012 to 2018). Leading the Albiceleste, Pékerman won three Under 20 World Cups (1995, 1997 and 2001) and lost to Germany in the quarterfinals of the 2006 World Cup. He qualified Colombia for two consecutive World Cups, Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018. The challenge of Pékerman was to qualify Venezuela for its first World Cup. And, to fulfill his objective, he had incorporated Argentine collaborators he trusted: Bocha Batista and Patricio Camps, in the senior team; and Fabricio Coloccini, in the youth teams. In fact, one of the conditions that Pékerman had placed on the FVF was the formation of a Projection Tournament (a subsidiary competition), which would improve the necessary for the growth of local football and the training of youth. This plan, however, never came to fruition.
Pékerman began to lead the Venezuelan team in the last four days of the South American qualifiers for Qatar 2022. The balance, one win and three losses. In total, in the 15 months that he was in charge of Vinotinto, the Argentine coach added five victories, one draw and four falls.
Venezuela, which has on the horizon the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, which will be organized by the United States, Canada and Mexico, has on its agenda two friendly matches against Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan on March 24 and 28 respectively. The Red wineIn any case, he still doesn’t have a coach.
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