The head of the Saudi Football Association, Yasser Al-Mishal, confirmed the continuation of French coach Herve Renard at the head of the “green” team after qualifying for the World Cup Qatar 2022.
Al-Mishal said in a statement to AFP, “Renard will lead the national team in the 2022 World Cup, according to his contract, which stipulates that he will lead the team in the World Cup if the Saudi team qualifies.”
He added, “This is normal after the French coach’s success in achieving the most important goal, which is qualifying for the World Cup after difficult qualifiers, during which the team presented strong results under his supervision and decided qualification before his last two matches.”
Saudi Arabia secured the sixth FIFA World Cup in its history, before its 1-1 draw with China on Thursday in the penultimate round of the Asian qualifiers, due to the victory of Japan, who also qualified for the finals, against its host Australia 2-0.
Regarding his assessment of Renard’s career with “Al-Akhdar” during the last period, Al-Mishal confirmed that “the follower of Al-Akhdar’s journey with Renard notes stability in the elements in which the team played its matches in the qualifiers, and this stability contributed to the team achieving 12 victories out of 17 matches we played in the qualifiers so far, In return for 4 draws and one loss, it was on Japanese soil.
He added, “We scored 33 goals and conceded only 10 goals, all of which are positive numbers, in addition to the team’s ranking rising from the 70th to the 53rd position currently, and we entered the 50 list for two consecutive months in October and November 2021, and we will work together to prepare a preparatory program in order to appear in the honorable image in World Cup”.
Al-Mishal touched on the issue of reducing the number of foreign players in the league (it is currently heard of seven), saying, “We listened to the clubs’ point of view regarding this matter and we are working on completing the study of the most appropriate number in view of the statistics and numbers during the past seasons, and it is expected that the final decision will be issued soon.”
Al-Mishal also denied the increase in the number of league teams in the next season, and said, “It is certain that the number of clubs in the Saudi Professional League will be 16 for the next season, as stipulated in the list of competitions.” He added, “The Saudi League has become at the top of the pyramid for the Arab and Asian leagues, and the appropriate number of clubs in all grades is constantly being studied, and if there is any tendency to increase, it will be announced early.”