China replaced Li Tie as coach of the national football team on Friday after weeks of intense media pressure and speculation, with their hopes of reaching the 2022 World Cup all but over.
The former Everton midfielder, 44, resigned and has been replaced by Li Xiaopeng, who had been in charge at Super League side Wuhan FC, the Chinese FA said.
Li had been widely tipped to take over and was hired "after extensive consultations", the CFA said.
"In recent days Li Tie submitted his request to resign as head coach of the Chinese men's national football team," the statement said, adding it had "decided to accept his request". (AFP)