The president of the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF), Luis Chiriboga, thanked on Tuesday from Santiago, Chile, Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda for getting the team a direct berth to the 2014 World Cup.
"I want to thank and congratulate the players, especially the coaching staff led by Professor Reinaldo Rueda," Chiriboga said to the Ecuadorian media in Santiago, where the 'tricolor' sealed their ticket port to the World Cup despite losing 2-1 against Chile which put them in fourth place in South American qualifying with 25 points. "Also the press that could bring the country together in recent days...the team has given us much joy," he added.
The 'tricolor' returns to the World Cup after playing in the tournament in Japan/South Korea-2002 and Germany-2006.
"It's what all Ecuadorians longed for, that the selection classify directly to the World Cup, that the selection put their name for the third time on the World Cup in Brazil-2014," Chiriboga said.
The leader said that the team "suffered enough," but that "at the end Ecuador came through and achieved the goal."
It also considered that "unity, solidarity and delivery" were the key to the classification.
"We deserve to be happy. In the coming days we will be working to get two friendlies in November on the FIFA dates," said Chiriboga.
He said that on the occasion of the draw, on December 6, the FEF will define the host city of the 'tricolor' in Brazil-2014.
© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse