RIYADH (Reuters) - Bahrain are looking for a new football coach for the second time in just over four months after Iraqi Adnan Hamad was sacked in the wake of the country's poor start to the Gulf Cup on Monday.
Hamad had been expected to guide the team into next January's Asian Cup after replacing Anthony Hudson on a two-year deal when the Englishman quit suddenly in late July to take charge of New Zealand.
Bahrain drew their first Gulf Cup Group A match against Yemen, however, before a 3-0 loss to hosts Saudi Arabia on Sunday left them needing a win against Qatar on Wednesday to have any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.
"The Bahraini Football Association held an urgent meeting ... to discuss the Bahraini national team's poor performance and negative results in the Gulf Cup," the Bahrain Football Association said in statement. "The Bahrain Football Association has released the national team's coach Adnan Hamad and assigned national assistant coach Marjan Eid to lead the team for the rest of the tournament."
Bahrain, whose best result at an Asian Cup was a semi-final appearance in 2004 in China, face Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in first round Group C in Australia next year.
Hamad, Asia's coach of the year in 2004 in one of several spells in charge of his native Iraq, led Jordan to the quarter-finals of the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar. The 53-year-old also oversaw an impressive qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup, in which the Jordanians beat Australia and Japan, but he turned down a contract extension before they bowed out to Uruguay in a playoff.