Honduras lost all three of their matches to finish last in Group E at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Following the disappointing performance, Luis Fernando Suarez has quit as the team's manager.
The Associated Press' Chris Lehourites reported the news on Wednesday. Suarez emphasized that he was leaving on his own terms.
"It's not a resignation. It's not an issue with the contract," said Suarez. "I unilaterally take the decision of not continuing."
Goal.com's Sam Lee documented more of what Suarez said following Wednesday's final match—a 3-0 loss to Switzerland:
The second half was very good and we had three or four chances to score, but scoring is a different story and we disappointed our nation. When I leave here I will say goodbye to them, for Honduras’ sake I think we need a change.
We had good results in the Olympics, I think this is a good team but somebody else can take this position and do better things. We have young players who are very good and a new coach will realise this. I’m very happy with my work.
I am sad that I didn’t achieve the mission that I was entrusted with. It was a dream but I’m going to go on with my career. I always want to be connected to Honduras. I will always be a fan of Honduras, if I’m there or not I will always cheer for the team. The players taught me to like them a lot, I have this relationship with them. I owe them this. I would like to thank the whole operation; many, many thanks to everybody, I am sorry that I did not manage more.
According to Lee, Suarez's contract expired when Honduras were eliminated from the World Cup.
Only Cameroon had a worse goal differential than Honduras, who scored just once while conceding eight. Their only competitive contest came in a 2-1 loss to Ecuador. That was the nation Suarez guided to World Cup appearances in 2002 and 2006, advancing to the round of 16 in the latter tournament, per OptaJose:
1 - Luis Fernando Suarez was in charge of #ECU at the 2006 WC, where he took La Tri to the last 16, the country’s best performance. Expert.— OptaJose (@OptaJose) June 20, 2014
But La Bicolor were shut out 3-0 by the sides that advanced through Honduras' group in the 2014 World Cup. Eventual Group E winner France dominated Suarez's squad in the opener, then a massive letdown ensued at the hands of Switzerland in the final fixture.
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There was still a chance for Honduras to advance to the knockout stage against the Swiss, so the fact that the team played such uninspired football likely doomed Suarez as it was. He didn't even bother to await evaluation, taking it upon himself to walk away after the lackluster display in Brazil.
That Suarez was able to get Honduras to the World Cup is rather impressive, though. This was only their third all-time appearance, with the most recent other coming in 2010. La Bicolor are beginning to build a foundation in which the World Cup berth will become an expectation rather than a hope.
Taking the reins of two different national teams and leading them to unlikely World Cup trips bolsters Suarez's resume. He appears frustrated by how his side performed, but he could very well be considered for a superior job. In exiting an unenviable situation with Honduras, Suarez was wise not to raise any controversy, taking full responsibility for his removal. It likely bolsters his prospects of coaching another national team.
Based on the prior jobs Suarez has done and the classy way he left Honduras, he should be in the market for another shot at being boss soon enough.