Australia coach Frank Farina has stepped down, Football Federation Australia have confirmed.
Farina’s hgas been head coach of the Socceroos for six years. He will be replaced on a temporary basis by national technical manager Ron Smith.
Australia were eliminated from the Confederations Cup in Germany this month after losing all three of their matches and conceding 10 goals.
“Frank Farina has been a dedicated coach over the past six years who has given his all for Australian football and we wish him well with his future endeavours,” said FFA chairman Frank Lowy in a statement.
“However, it is important to now move on and focus on the World Cup campaign; our responsibility is to do everything possible to ensure that Australia will be competing in Germany in 2006.
“We have said that we would be leaving no stone unturned to qualify for the World Cup.”
Farina said: “Ever increasing speculation on my position is not something that I want to see affect the performance of the team and the potential for that happening has led to this announcement.
“We have the players and the backing to get us to the World Cup and no single element of our approach should be allowed to undermine that.”
Australia face a World Cup playoff against the Solomon Islands in September. The winners of that match will meet the fifth-ranked South American country, with the winner qualifying for the final.