Palmeiras fire coach following seven-minute substitution !!!
Feb 16 (Reuters) - Palmeiras have fired coach Estevam Soares, three days after a bizarre incident in which he brought a player on as a substitute only to replace him seven minutes later.
Soares had been in charge of the Sao Paulo-based club for nine months, during which he surpassed expectations by helping them qualify for the Libertadores Cup in their first season back in the Brazilian first division.
But Palmeiras made an indifferent start to the 2005 season and the fans had become increasingly frustrated at what they saw as Soares's overcautious tactics.
"The decision was taken because of the latest results," said the club on its official website.
The pressure increased after his much-criticised quickfire replacement of midfielder Diego Souza during Sunday's 2-2 draw at Uniao Sao Joao in the season-opening Paulista championship.
Souza gesticulated angrily at his coach as he left the field, insulted him on live television and stormed back to Sao Paulo on his own.
The club issued a statement denying the Souza incident had caused its decision to fire Soares and adding that the player had been suspended indefinitely.
Soares felt the controversy had been the final straw.
"There was pressure from the directors and the supporters but the episode with Diego Souza complicated the situation," he told the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.