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Jorge Luis Pinto leaves Costa Rica; fail to agree to new contract following surprise World Cup

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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - Jorge Luis Pinto, who produced the surprise of the World Cup by coaching tiny Costa Rica to the quarterfinals, is leaving after failing to agree on a new contract.

The Costa Rican federation announced Pinto's departure on Thursday.

Pinto said he was leaving because of disagreements with unnamed members of his coaching staff. He said they asked that he be fired 1 1/2 years ago.

"I slept with the enemy for 1 1/2 years," Pinto said. "I had my differences with the staff. They don't share my style. I'm demanding. I want dedication and effort."

His two primary assistants were former players Paulo Wanchope and Luis Marin.

Costa Rica emerged from a group with Italy, England and Uruguay, all former world champions. It was eliminated in the quarterfinals by the Netherlands, losing 4-3 on penalties after the match was 0-0 after extra time.

Pinto, a Colombian, said money was not an issue. He took the Costa Rica position almost three years ago and said he had not been looking for another job, though he was likely to be attractive to a club or national team.

Eduardo Li, president of the Costa Rican Football Federation, said it could take up to three months to name a replacement. He said Wanchope and Marin would handle the team until then.

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