Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Udinese fire coach after going
winless in opening 9 rounds
Udine (Italy), Oct 25: Udinese fired Andrea Sottil after going winless in the opening nine rounds of Serie A. The Friuli club is third from the bottom with six points from six draws, including a 1-1 result at home with Lecce on Monday. Udinese has been in the top division uninterrupted since 1995. Former Udinese coach Gabriele Cioffi is expected to be rehired as a replacement. It’s the third coaching change in the Italian league this season after Aurelio Andreazzoli replaced Paolo Zanetti at Empoli and Filippo Inzaghi took over from Paulo Sousa at Salernitana. Sottil coached Udinese to a 12th-place finish last season. (AP)


Pak jr hockey team leaves for tourney in Malaysia without coaching staff
Karachi, Oct 25: The Pakistan junior hockey squad on Wednesday left for the Sultan Johor Cup international tournament in Malaysia without any support staff after head coach Hanif Khan had a dispute over selection of the team with the Pakistan Hockey Federation. Hanif, an Olympic gold medal winner in hockey, did not leave with the team for the tournament beginning on October 27 as he was unhappy at the way the team was selected. Coach Shakeel Abbasi also did not go with the team as he supported Hanif Khan’s contention that the PHF should not have made changes to the squad without consulting them. “The PHF President Khalid Sajjad Khokar told me to take charge of the team and also select the squad with the selection committee. I told them we didn’t require to pick more than 18 players but they said the PHF President has approved 20 players for the tournament,” Hanif said. “I accepted that but after the final squad was announced a 21st player and a third goalkeeper was added to the squad while two-three players were changed with the PHF saying it was because the selected players didn’t have required documents to go to Malaysia,” he added. Hanif said he decided it was better not to go with the team as there was also talk that some foreign coach will join the side in Malaysia. Pakistan hockey has reached one its worst periods in history with the team flopping badly in the recent Asian Games, failing to reach the semifinals. Apart from on-field performances, the politics and intrigues within the PHF seemed to have intensified as Haider Hussain was removed by the federation president before a congress meeting on Wednesday in Lahore. Haider, however, claimed that he has not resigned or cannot be removed without the approval of the Congress. (PTI)


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