Pizzi quits as Chile coach after World Cup elimination

former Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi. (Nelson Antoine/AP)

SAO PAULO — Juan Antonio Pizzi will not be looking for a new contract as Chile coach after the Copa America champions failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Pizzi, who is out of contract following Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to Brazil in Sao Paulo, told a news conference that he took the blame for Chile’s elimination from the qualifying competition.

"My future? My contract ends in this situation and it seems to me, although it is the responsibility and decision of the (Chile football association) executives, that we must analyze what they want for the team and try to choose the best option," the Argentine told a news conference.

"I am ruling myself out of those options."

However, the head of Chile’s association, Arturo Salah, said later that it was too early to decide Pizzi’s future.

"We need to decide this with a cool head. We are all responsible for the elimination. The rest will be part of a calm analysis," Salah said.

Midfielder Gary Medel said Pizzi told the players that he was leaving in the changing room of the Allianz Parque stadium in Sao Paulo.

"It was very hard for all of us. The coach that arrives has to be willing to achieve greatness," Medel said.

Pizzi took over last year, replacing Jorge Sampaoli, who is now Argentina’s coach.

Under Pizzi, Chile won the 2016 Copa America Centenario and earlier this year reached the final of the Confederations Cup, losing to World Cup holder Germany.

Brazil topped the South American qualifying standings with 41 points, while Chile ended in sixth with 26.

Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo also said he was sorry for Pizzi’s decision, and blamed "a lot of situations that will be discussed internally" for Chile’s failure to qualify.

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