(CNN) -- Coach Sergio Batista has paid the price for Argentina's unsuccessful 2011 Copa America campaign after having his contract canceled on Monday.
Expectations had been high with Argentina hosting the tournament and seeking a record 15th title, but "La Albiceleste" lost on penalties in the quarterfinals to neighbors Uruguay -- who went on to claim that milestone instead.
Batista, a World Cup winner as a player in 1986, replaced the iconic Diego Maradona as coach in July 2010, having previously guided his country's Olympic team to a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.
The Argentine Football Association (AFA) hopes to announce a successor to the 48-year-old former Argentinos Juniors boss within a week.
"The national teams committee has decided to rescind the contract that attached Mr. Batista with the Argentinian Football Association," AFA spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo told reporters.
"In a very good-natured, mature telephone conversation, Mr. Batista and Mr. Julio Grondona (the AFA president) talked and Batista left his situation in the hands of the AFA.
"Batista is a man who does not need any explanation. He talked to the AFA president and allowed him to decide whatever he considers the right thing."
Cherquis Bialo said the AFA would now take time to consider potential candidates to replace Batista.
"In the upcoming seven days, we hope we can reveal the name of the new coach. The candidates' names will be evaluated by the national teams committee," he said.
The main objective for the new head coach will be qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a campaign which begins on October 7 with a home match against Chile.
Also at Monday's press conference, the AFA announced sweeping changes to the structure of league football in Argentina.
The country's top division currently consists of 20 teams, with each year split into two championship seasons.
Each team plays each other once to decide the winner of the first competition, known as the Apertura, with the return fixtures making up the second championship, the Clausura.
However, the new regulations with see the country's top two divisions combined from the start of the 2012-13 campaign to create a 38-team league. The new format will see teams compete for the title over a full season, eliminating the Apertura and Clausura system.
It is also spells the end of the Primera Division's current relegation format, which sees teams relegated based on their points over three Apertura and Clausura seasons.
The 33-time national champions River Plate suffered relegation under the current rules for the first time in their history in June, and CNN correspondent Brian Byrnes believe the plight of the Buenos Aires outfit may have brought about these changes.
"A lot of people reacted very badly to that," Byrnes said of River's relegation. "They knew a lot of lost revenue was going to come as a result of River playing in the B league.
"So we're hearing that authorities both at the AFA and even the Argentine government were involved in the decision to combine the two leagues.
"It's not clear yet how they are going to sort out the scoring or how it is going to affect international competitions, such as they Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana."