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Southampton sack manager less than a year

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Southampton has sacked Mauricio Pellegrino as manager, the Premier League club announced on Monday.

Pellegrino was hired on a three-year deal in June of 2017 after Claude Puel was let go at the club. He had previously been at Alaves.

Saints were beaten 3-0 at Newcastle on Saturday and lie just one place and one point above the relegation zone.

Southampton has won just one of their last 17 league matches — against bottom club West Brom — with this weekend’s defeat proving to be the final straw.

Assistant manager Carlos Compagnucci and assistant first-team coach Xavier Tamarit have also parted company with the south coast club.

A Southampton statement read: “We would like to place on record our thanks to Mauricio, Carlos and Xavier for their efforts during their time with Southampton, and wish them well for the future.

“The club will look to appoint a new management team as soon as possible, with the search for a replacement already under way.”

Saints will be hoping to appoint Pellegrino’s successor quickly, with an FA Cup quarter-final at Wigan looming on Sunday.

They then face a crunch clash with relegation rivals West Ham at the London Stadium on March 31.

Former Hull and Watford boss Marco Silva has been installed as the favourite for the vacancy with bookmakers.

Pellegrino, 46, played for Barcelona, Valencia and Liverpool as a player, while his coaching career has included stints in charge of Valencia, Estudiantes and Independiente.

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SPORTS

Alleged corruption: Pinnick drags Obono-Obla, SPIP to court

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The last might not have been heard of the alleged corruption against Amaju Pinnick, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), as the CAF vice president, through the NFF lawyer, Mamman Nasir, has dragged Okoi Obono-Obla, the head of Special Presidential Investigatory Panel (SPIP) on the recovery of public property, and the entire panel, to court.

This is according to a letter from Nasir obtained by Breaking Times. The football house, through its lawyer, lamented what it called the orchestrated media campaign against NFF officials.

Consequently, the NFF, through the lawyer, warned against persecution and public show trial of its officials by SPIP.

“It must be pointed out that while these publications of the news of the warrant of arrest started on Wednesday, January 9, the date on the face of the eventual published warrant unlawfully obtained from a magistrate’s court in Abuja was Thursday, January 10”, the statement stated.

The counsel to the NFF questioned why a warrant of arrest will be obtained from a Magistrate Court instead of a High Court as prescribed by the law setting up the SPIP.

“More grievous to the rights of our client and its officials is the fact that Chief Obono-Obla and SPIP went to secure a warrant of arrest from a Magistrate Court contrary to the clear provisions of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act, the law setting up the SPIP, that ONLY the Federal High Court is vested with the jurisdiction to issue warrants for the SPIP.

He, however, stated that he has filed a suit against the SPIP in the FCT High Court, Abuja. ”Our client and the affected NFF officials have also taken the additional step to file a suit, FC/ABJ/ CS/17/2019 at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division.

“The suit is to allow this whole sordid matter to be ventilated in the court of the land and to check the oppression of our client and its officials

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BREAKING: Manchester United sack Jose Mourinho

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Manchester United have sacked José Mourinho following Sunday’s defeat at Liverpool, ending a tenure that began in May 2016.

A poor start to the Premier League season has seen United slip 19 points behind the leaders, Liverpool, and fall off the pace in the hunt for a top-four place. They have won only once in six league matches, drawing during that sequence with struggling Southampton and Crystal Palace.

The club issued a statement on Tuesday morning which read: “Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect.

“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future. A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.”

Relations between the manager and the executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, also seemed strained after the club did not sign a central defender this summer. The club concluded that of the players in that position targeted by Mourinho whom they could potentially land, none was an upgrade on the existing squad.

A sense of disunity at United was encapsulated when Mourinho stripped Pogba of the vice-captaincy before a Carabao Cup defeat by Derby County and confronted him at training the following morning. The manager has criticised his players’ “mental approach”, attitude and quality.

Mourinho has seemed less than happy since the buildup to the season, when he described preparations as “very bad” because many of his senior players were resting after the World Cup.

The manager demanded “respect, respect, respect” for his three Premier League titles following United’s 3-0 home defeat by Tottenham in late August but will not get a chance to add a fourth at Old Trafford.

In two full seasons at Old Trafford, Mourinho won the Europa League and League Cup (2016-17) before finishing second in the Premier League last season and reaching the FA Cup final. In that period since replacing Louis van Gaal, United’s spending stands at £364.3m on eight buys.

Source: The Guardian UK

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Luka Modric ‘beats’ Ronaldo to win 2018 Ballon d’ Or award

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Croatia captain and Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric, has won the men’s Ballon d’Or award, the prestigious prize given to the best football in the world.

Modric beat five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo and World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann to the honour at a glamorous ceremony in Paris, France.

Kylian Mbappe won the inaugural Kopa Trophy for the best young player, while Lyon and Norway forward Ada Hegerberg won the first women’s Ballon d’Or.

The Croatia captain has proved a crucial part both of Real Madrid’s third successive Champions League triumph, beating Liverpool in the final 3-1, and as captain in Croatia’s impressive run to the World Cup final which earned him the tournament’s Golden Ball.

In 2018, Modric won his third consecutive Champions League trophy with club side Real Madrid and led Croatia to their first World Cup final, losing 4-2 to France.

The 33-year-old’s prize sees an end to the 10-year duopoly of Messi, who finished fifth overall in his lowest ranking since 2006, and Ronaldo, who came second. France and Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann finished third, with his France team-mate Mbappe fourth.

Harry Kane, the only English player on the 30-man shortlist, ranked 10th in the poll after winning the World Cup Golden Boot in Russia as he captained England to their best finish in 28 years.

Premier League trio Mohamed Salah (6), Eden Hazard (8) and Kevin De Bruyne (9) were also in the top 10.

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, dropped to 12th having been voted third best in last year’s poll.

World Cup winners N’Golo Kante (11) and Paul Pogba (15) finished in the top 20 after being recognised for their performances in Russia.

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