BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon coach Theo Buecker says he is leaving the national team after it failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup and is taking over at Saudi club side Al-Ettifaq.

Buecker, who has coached Lebanon since 2011, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he has signed a one-year contract with the Dammam-based club.

Lebanon's World Cup failure was largely due to a match-fixing scandal which implicated 24 players — including six involved in qualifying matches. Two of the 24 players were banned for life and the rest were given lesser sanctions.

A veteran of the Middle Eastern football, the 64-year-old German has previously coached four Saudi clubs and has held 16 positions in clubs in the eight countries of the region, including in Libya, Egypt and Qatar.

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