Aime Anthuenis has been relieved of his duties as coach following Belgium’s failure to qualify for the World Cup finals.

“It was the best solution for both sides. Nobody loses face,” a Belgian Football Association source told Reuters.

“At the end of the day, Anthuenis is gone and we get on with the job of finding a new coach.”

Anthuenis, who was appointed in July 2002, will continue to be paid by the Belgian FA until his contract ends on December 31. He became the national coach after enjoying success in Belgian domestic football. After winning the championship with Racing Genk in 1999, Anthuenis guided Anderlecht to successive titles in 2000 and 2001.

Belgium’s failure to qualify means that next year’s finals in Gremany will be the first to be held without their particpation since 1978.

Former Belgian internationals Rene Vandereycken, Eric Gerets and Marc Wilmots are regarded as potential candidates for the post.