WORLD CUP 2006: Guimaraes quits over phone threats

San Jose, July 4:

Costa Rica’s coach Alexandre Guimaraes quit his post on Monday after receiving phone threats at his home, he told a press conference. Guimaraes had a contract until 2010 but said it was not worth continuing in the job under the threat of violence against him and his family.

“The first sign was in the airport,” he said. “If I had not been under police protection I don’t know if I would have been here today for this conference.”

The Brazilian, a naturalised Costa Rican, said that since his return he had endured the wrath of supporters who blamed him for his country’s first round exit. Costa Rica lost all three matches: 2-4 to Germany, 0-3 to Ecuador and 1-2 to Poland.

“I don’t want to be held solely responsible and have to hire bodyguards,” he added.

He said he had given his best and lamented the fact supporters failed to realise that Costa Rican football was not at the level of the teams that had beaten them.