Lewington to join Hodgson
England manager Roy Hodgson will be joined by Fulham coach Ray Lewington for the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine, the Football Association confirmed on Friday. Lewington had been tipped to join former Craven Cottage boss Hodgson during the summer and now Fulham and the FA have agreed a deal for them to renew a working relationship they had at club level. A statement issued by the FA read: “The FA and Fulham Football Club can confirm that Ray Lewington will join Roy Hodgson’s England coaching staff at the end of the Premier League season to work with the team during the European Championship.” Hodgson said: “I’m delighted that Fulham have agreed to Ray joining the England coaching staff for the summer. I know Ray well and enjoyed working with him at Craven Cottage. He’s a very good coach and the players will I’m sure enjoy working with him. We’re currently finalizing the rest of the coaching staff, but it’s great to have Ray confirmed.”
Uniao Leiria hit by walkout
Portuguese club Uniao Leiria on Friday confirmed that they will fulfill their weekend fixture against Benfica in Lisbon, despite 13 players resigning in protest at delays in receiving their wages. Club president Joao Bartolomeu said that they will send a team comprised of youth players for the game at the Estadio da Luz and insisted that they will complete their top-flight fixtures. Earlier, local media quoted a statement from the club’s management saying that the resignation en masse “could lead irreversibly to relegation,” which would force the club to “give up” top flight football. Bosses accused the players of “unjustified absences from training and, worse, not turning up for the 28th match of the season” against Feirense at home last Sunday. Leiria, based in central Portugal, managed to put out an eight-man team against Feirense, but lost 4-0.
Papac confirms Rangers exit
Bosnian defender Sasa Papac has confirmed he will leave crisis-hit Scottish giants Rangers when his contract expires at the end of the season. The left-back has yet to find a new club but has confirmed he will quit Ibrox after six years. He told the club’s official website: “After six seasons of playing for Rangers, the time has come for me to leave my place for someone younger who will be able to contribute to new successes at the club with passion and zest.” Rangers entered administration in February and are currently the subject of a possible takeover by US businessman Bill Miller, who on Thursday was named as the preferred bidder by the club’s administrators. Tow-truck tycoon Miller was battling a rival bid by the Blue Knights consortium, but is now in pole position to secure a takeover after the decision by administrators Duff and Phelps.
Guangzhou suspend Conca
Reigning Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande have suspended Argentine star Dario Conca for nine matches and fined him 1 million yuan (US$159,000) after an outburst at his coach. The announcement late on Friday of the fine and suspension came after an angry outburst from Conca when he was substituted during Guangzhou’s 3-1 AFC Champions League defeat to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Tuesday. Conca scored his side’s only goal with a penalty kick in the early stages, but was unhappy when Lee Jang-soo replaced him in the second half.