Scolari departs Palmeiras
Former Brazil, Portugal and Chelsea soccer coach Luiz Felipe Scolari parted company with Palmeiras on Thursday after a series of defeats left the team mired in the Brazilian championship relegation zone. The fiery Scolari’s departure came two months after his side won the Copa Brasil knockout tournament. “In a meeting which took place this afternoon between the president, director of football and coaching staff, it was decided by mutual agreement to end the contract between Luiz Felipe Scolari and the club,” said Palmeiras in a statement. “Palmeiras thank the coach for his services, he is one of the greatest leaders the club has had in all of its history.”
Black appointed director
Neil Black was appointed performance director of UK Athletics on Thursday and among his first tasks will be finding a replacement for Charles van Commenee as Olympic head coach. Dutchman Van Commenee said on Wednesday he would step down in December after failing to meet his target of eight track and field medals at the London Olympics, including one gold, even though the team bagged four golds and six medals overall. Former physiotherapist Black, a pivotal figure in the success of British athletics for 20 years, will oversee the next Olympic cycle to the 2016 Games in Rio and the 2017 world championships in London.
Flintoff debut ‘car crash TV’
Leading British boxing promoter Frank Warren has labeled former England cricket captain Andrew Flintoff’s professional ring debut as “car crash television.” Flintoff, the star of England’s 2005 Ashes triumph, has applied for his boxing license and is due to fight at Manchester’s MEN Arena on Nov. 30 against an as yet unnamed opponent. BoxNation, a company in which Warren is involved, will screen the 34-year-old’s first bout. “For me it is car crash television, I will be blunt about it. I am not taking anything away from him, it is being shown on BoxNation which I am involved in, but I will not be promoting it,” the veteran promoter said. Meanwhile David Price, the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion, was slightly more positive. “Freddie [Flintoff] is as entitled as anyone to try it out and some people come to professional boxing later in life,” Price said.
Merkel offers advice
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday became the latest high-profile figure to tell gay soccer players they should have no fear of revealing their homosexuality. “I am of the opinion that anyone who sums up the strength and bravery — and we have a long tradition of this behind us in politics — should know that they live in a land where they have nothing to fear,” Merkel said at a forum in Berlin to discuss integration in sport. “The fact that there are still fears for some people for their own situation means we need to send out a clear message: you must not be afraid.” While senior political figures have come out, no current German Bundesliga player has revealed his homosexuality. Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness said it is only a matter of time before a Bundesliga player comes out. “It will happen, sooner or later. All clubs are advised to prepare for this topic, so they will have good answers,” said Hoeness, speaking at the same Berlin forum as Merkel under the slogan “Go your own way.”