China dismiss head coach Perrin

China's coach Alain Perrin looks on before the start of their Asian Cup Group B soccer match against North Korea at the Canberra stadium in Canberra January 18, 2015. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

BEIJING (Reuters) - China dismissed their French coach Alain Perrin on Friday after a disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Chinese Football Association officials met with Perrin on Thursday and opted to remove him despite two games remaining in the second round of their World Cup and Asian Cup qualifying campaign.

China, ranked 82nd in the world by FIFA, are third in Group C with two home matches against Maldives and Qatar to come in March.

The Qataris have already secured top spot in the group and a place in the third round of the World Cup qualifiers in Asia with China chasing one of the best runners-up spots to join them.

Perrin, who has coached mainly in France and Asia, took charge of China in February 2014 and led them to the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup last year but his popularity fell after two goalless draws with arch-rivals Hong Kong in the current campaign.

The CFA said the search for his replacement would begin immediately.

Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; editing by Amlan Chakraborty