Saudi Arabia sacks Calderon, appoints Paqueta

World Cup qualifiers Saudi Arabia has appointed Brazilian Marcos Paqueta as the new head coach after Gabriel Calderon was fired despite qualifying the team for Germany 2006. Paqueta, who led Riyadh-based club Al Hilal to the Saudi league and cup double last season, has signed a contract to take the three-time Asian champions to the World Cup finals with the deal due to run into 2007, also covering the Gulf Cup and the finals of the 2007 Asian Cup.

Calderon was replaced after his team's poor showing at the West Asian Games in Qatar and the former Argentina international's "constant changes to his backroom staff and his lack of a convincing plan for the national team's World Cup preparations", Michael Church of PA Sport reported.