Mexico coach Sven Goran Eriksson's job is safe and he has the unconditional support of the Mexican Football Federation, officials said Wednesday.
Under fire after a 2-0 loss to the United States in a World Cup
qualifying match on Feb. 11, Eriksson has been given a show of support
from the FMF and will prepare for El Tri's upcoming qualifier against
Costa Rica on March 28 knowing he will be on the sidelines for that
"We hired Sven so we could go to the World Cup together," FMF President
Justino Compean said. "We've discussed many things with him, and the
communication between us is ongoing. We believe in him, and we hired
him to take us to the World Cup."
Mexico's loss against the U.S. set off a wave of frustration and
speculation across the Mexican media as many questioned Eriksson's
permanence in the post and the FMF's decision to have turned towards
Eriksson in the first place. Coupled with the semifinal phase of
qualifying, Mexico has a four-match winless streak in qualifying,
having gone 0-3-1 in that sretch.
Still, those games have all been on the road. Eriksson is a perfect
three-for-three in home qualifiers. Mexico have nine qualifiers left in
the Hexagonal round, and five of them are at home. Anything short of
victory in any of Mexico's home games will not be tolerated, though,
"He knows how to count, that as host he must accumulate 15 points,"
Compean said. "We must have success on the road, as getting more than
20 points would give us some confidence. We want to qualify directly,
not as (the fourth-place team)."
In CONCACAF, the top three teams in the Hexagonal advance to the 2010
World Cup while the fourth-place team will play a South American nation
for another berth.
In order for Eriksson to best prepare the team, Compean said the Swede must not feel pressure or worry about his position.
"Sven cannot have his head in a guillotine. He must work with
confidence and we are giving it to him," Compean said. "We are not
threatening him. On the contrary, we are giving him our full support
and will give him anything he needs."