Former Canadian head coach Stephen Hart. (QMI Agency)
Two days after suffering an historic loss in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the Canadian Soccer Association announced the resignation of head coach Stephen Hart Thursday afternoon.
“We would like to thank Stephen Hart for his contribution to the Canadian Soccer Association,” said Victor Montagliani, the CSA’s president. “Mr. Hart has served as an exemplary model for the game at both the national and international levels.
“During his tenure with the association, he earned the respect of the Canadian soccer community and helped to raise the profile of the game in this country."
Needing just a draw in Central America to advance to CONCACAF’s final round of World Cup qualifying for the first time since 1997, Canada fell in shocking fashion, suffering an 8-1 loss at the hands of Honduras, the second biggest loss in the history of the program.
Following Tuesday’s qualifier Hart was asked if the lopsided result would spell the end of his time in charge of the Canadian program.
“You want desperately for Canada to do well,” he said in his post-game press conference at the Estadio Olimpico. “All I can do is ask the fans’ forgiveness on behalf of the players. I know they’ll never forgive me.”
“I have to really sit down and think about this,” he continued. “I don’t think Canadian fans will forgive me.”
Hart leaves Canada’s national team with an all-time record of 20 wins, 10 draws and 15 losses in 45 international matches from 2006 to 2012. He ranks second in wins and first in win percentage among former Canadian coaches.
In the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying cycle he posted seven wins, three draws and two losses in 12 matches over two years.