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Uruguay have sacked manager Oscar Washington Tabarez, and in the process ended one of the longest reigns in international history.

Tabarez had been the longest-serving manager still involved in the international game, leading his country for 15-years, 8-months and 12 days.

Only five other managers have had longer international terms - among them Italian World Cup-winner Vittorio Pozzo, and Alf Ramsey's predecessor as England boss - Walter Winterbottom.

Four consecutive defeats in World Cup qualifying proved to be the final straw for the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF). A 3-0 defeat away to Bolivia earlier this week leaves Uruguay a point off both automatic qualification, and the inter-confederation playoff berth currently occupied by Peru.

During his second spell in charge (his first saw him guide Uruguay to Italia '90), Tabarez qualified Uruguay for three consecutive World Cup finals, even reaching the semis in 2010.

They also won the Copa America in 2011 - their first since 1995.

“The Executive Committee of the AUF informs that it has terminated the contract of Oscar Washington Tabarez and the other members of the national team staff,” read an AUF statement.

“We emphatically manifest that this decision does not imply the non-recognition of Tabarez’s important contribution to Uruguayan football.

“We salute and acknowledge the important results obtained in these 15 years, which have once again placed Uruguay among the top of world football.

“We express our respect and recognition for the professionalism and dedication during this long process of work and the immeasurable bond that this fruitful stage leaves in the history of the national team.

“The Executive Committee of the AUF took this difficult decision under the current circumstances, with the near future compromise and the results that we all expect.”

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