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Holland coach throws in towel

BERT van Marwijk has stepped down as Holland coach, the Dutch FA (KNVB) revealed last night.

The 60-year-old's resignation followed a disappointing showing at Euro 2012, in which the Oranje were knocked out at the group stage without a point.

A statement on the KNVB website said: "On the initiative of Bert van Marwijk, the KNVB and Bert van Marwijk decided on Wednesday to end the coach's contract with immediate effect.

"The agreement between the FA and coach officially ran until the 2016 European Championship."

Holland arrived in Poland and Ukraine as one of the favourites for the title after finishing runners-up to Spain at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

However, they failed to get out of Group B, which also included Germany, Denmark and Portugal, losing all three of their matches to finish at the bottom of the table.


The failure prompted the KNVB to hold a number of meetings with Van Marwijk about what went wrong.

And the coach opted to leave his post, albeit reluctantly, a decision which was accepted by the KNVB.

"I have severe doubts, but have decided to take this step anyway," Van Marwijk said.

The head of the KNVB, Bert van Oostveen, added: "The KNVB are grateful to Van Marwijk. He has performed exceptionally well in the World Cup finals and took them to first place in the FIFA rankings.

"I personally had a very good feeling about our co-operation.

"Of course it is sad to part early, but we must be realistic."

Van Marwijk, who has previously held the reins at Feyenoord and Borussia Dortmund, took charge of the national team in 2008.

The KNVB will now begin the search for his successor, and aim to have a new coach in place before Holland's friendly against Belgium on August 15, and the start of their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.