Chinese Football Association yesterday accepted Zhu Guanghu’s resignation as national coach in the wake of last month's Asian Cup debacle and are looking for a foreigner to replace him, local newspapers reported.
China failed to progress beyond the group stage for the first time in more than 20 years after Uzbekistan beat them 3-0 in their final group game in Malaysia.
"Zhu Guanghu's tenure as coach of the national team has finished," the Beijing News quoted the team's general manager Wei Shaohui as saying.
Local media had previously reported China began looking for a new coach within days of their elimination from the tournament.
"There will definitely be a foreign coach for the (2010) World Cup qualifiers," Wei said.
China's Olympic coach Ratomir Dujkovic would be considered if the search for a "suitable" coach proved fruitless, he added.
"After coaching for three years, and having to give up the post to someone else, it's hard to reconcile," Zhu was quoted by the paper as saying.
Last month, former France striker Jean-Pierre Papin said he had been approached about the post, and local media have linked former Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit and ex-Germany and Scotland boss Berti Vogts with the job.