Steve McClaren has been fired as coach of England's soccer team after their failure to qualify for Euro 2008, reports the Times of London. England had been thrown a lifeline after Israel's surprise defeat of Russia, which gave them a chance to advance to the continental championships if they beat or drew with Croatia—but they slumped to a 3-2 defeat at Wembley.
It is the first time England have failed to qualify for a major tournament since 1994, when they missed the World Cup. A dejected McClaren said it was the saddest day of his career, but he accepted full responsibility. "I have huge disappointment for the nation and fans," he said. England's Football Association plan to start the search for a successor immediately.