[PORTUGAL]Portugal national team coach Carlos Queiroz was fired even though he wasn't on the sidelines for his team's disastrous start to its Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.
Queiroz had been suspended by the Portuguese soccer federation for two games for insulting anti-doping agents who came to the Portuguese national team's training camp before the World Cup to administer surprise doping tests. But he then had the ban increased to six months by the country's anti-doping body.
Queiroz claimed the ban was "erroneous and abusive" but paid the price for Portugal's results in its first two games without him.
Portugal, which was without injured star Cristiano Ronaldo, had to settle for a 4-4 tie at home with Cyprus and 1-0 loss to Norway away on Tuesday.
It gave up as many goals against Cyprus as it had in its previous 19 games combined. Goalie Eduardo, recently transferred from Braga to Genoa in Italy, looked shaky on the Cypriots' tying goal late in the game, and he and his Portuguese teammates were whistled off the field by their home fans. Against Norway, Eduardo's failed clearance led to the game's only goal.
Some players supported Queiroz, while others simply wanted the matter settled once and for all.
Fans almost unanimously favored the coach's firing if only to put the affair to rest.
Queiroz made a name for himself as the coach of Portugal's U-20 team that won back-to-back World Youth Cups and spawned its "Golden Generation" of stars.
He briefly coached MLS's MetroStars in 1996 and served as an advisor to U.S. Soccer. His most visible roles were as an assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester and as the head coach at Real Madrid.