It had been billed as Judgement Day for Jorge Sampaoli but after his meeting at Ezeiza with AFA president Claudio Tapia and vice-president Daniel Angelici, Argentina’s managerial situation is no clearer.
Despite having a contract that runs until the 2022 World Cup, Argentina’s dreadful campaign and subsequent last 16 exit in Russia was supposed to signal the end of the road for Jorge Sampaoli.
It still might but for now the 58-year-old remains and with his assistant Sebastián Beccacece having already left his post, Sampaoli has been tasked with taking charge of the Under-20s at the COTIF L’Alcudia tournament later this month.
Sampaoli will be in Valencia with the Under-20s until August 7th but the AFA have agreed that their executive committee will meet again at the end of July to review the coach’s performance.
El Presidente de la @afa, Claudio Tapia, acompañado del Vicepresidente 1°, Daniel Angelici, se reunieron hoy con el DT de la Selección Argentina, Jorge Sampaoli https://t.co/w1h0nvro4S pic.twitter.com/j2EsUhOdNL
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) July 9, 2018
The AFA statement read: “The meeting, which took place at the Ezeiza training facility and lasted about an hour, was about the performance of the national team in the World Cup.
“Meanwhile, at the next meeting of the executive committee agreed for the end of the month, the leaders will conduct a joint assessment of the coach’s work until this point.”
At this time Sampaoli may well find his time as Argentina coach is over but a number of stumbling blocks remain.
If reports are to be believed AFA president Claudio Tapia, displeased with the side’s performance in Russia, has already decided that another change of coaches is required but unless Sampaoli resigns, there are significant economic difficulties.
Sampaoli has no intention of walking away, pleading his case to Tapia and Angelici on Monday that for all the problems in Russia he is the man to continue the project and without a change of heart, the AFA will need to pay a compensation figure of somewhere between $8-12 million.
For an organisation already struggling for money this is not a possibility and so either a deal would need to be struck or Sampaoli would remain in charge.
Another option mooted is to leave the under-fire coach in charge for another year and make any changes after the 2019 Copa América when the figure to terminate Sampaoli’s contract would be significantly less. A move that might make financial sense but is less than ideal for the long term targets of the national team.
However, with this financial issue, the lack of realistic alternatives available at this time and a number of the coaching staff having left this week, there was little the AFA could do at Monday’s meeting.
Arrancó el segundo ciclo de Sebastián Beccacece al frente de Defensa y Justicia!!
— Defensa y Justicia (@ClubDefensayJus) July 9, 2018