Thun coach quits
Bernard Challandes has quit as coach of Swiss Super League side Thun after the players told him they did not want to work with him anymore. “After losing against Sport Lausanne, coach Bernard Challandes took the confidence test and asked if the players were 100 percent behind him,” the club said in a statement. “The team told the coach that a large majority were against a future with him. Therefore, the coach accepted the consequences and has given up his position,” the club said. The 61-year-old coach has done the rounds of the country’s top clubs, coaching BSC Young Boys, Servette, Zurich, Sion and Neuchatel Xamax in his lengthy career. Thun, from the small lakeside town of the same name, are ninth in the 10-team Swiss Super League after a six-match winless run.
PSG not trying for Beckham
Paris Saint-Germain have not made any fresh approach to lure David Beckham to the big-spending French club, PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Tuesday. “We haven’t made an offer, good luck to him,” Ancelotti said the day after the iconic former England international announced he was quitting LA Galaxy next month for a fresh challenge. In December last year, Beckham was in advanced talks with PSG about a move to Paris before a potential deal fell through at the last moment.
Hitzfield banned two games
National team coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has been banned for two matches by FIFA for making an insulting gesture to the referee after his side’s World Cup qualifier against Norway last month. FIFA’s disciplinary committee ruled the German “breached article 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (offensive behavior and fair play).” The former Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich coach was also fined 7,000 Swiss francs (US$7,429) and will have to bear the costs of the proceedings of SF1,000. Hitzfeld was captured by television cameras sticking his middle finger up at Spanish referee David Fernandez Borbalan at the end of the 1-1 draw. He later denied that the gesture was aimed at anyone in particular. Switzerland lead Group E with 10 points from four games. Hitzfeld will miss World Cup qualifiers away to tailenders Cyprus on March 23 and at home against the same opponents on June 8 next year.
Stramaccioni, Cassano cited
Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni and striker Antonio Cassano have been handed one and two-match bans respectively, league bosses announced on Tuesday. Inter’s 2-2 draw with Cagliari at their San Siro ground on Sunday was marred by controversy after the hosts were denied a late penalty that could have allowed them to collect all three points. Stramaccioni was red carded for protesting against the decision not to award the spot-kick, while Cassano remonstrated with the referee on the way down the players’ tunnel after the final whistle. Serie A officials said in a statement that Stramaccioni was banned from the touchline for the next league game after “protesting a refereeing decision, leaving the designated coach’s technical area and making offensive remarks to match officials.” Cassano’s ban was for “making offensive remarks to the referee on the way down the players’ tunnel following the game.” The two dropped points meant Inter remain second with a four-point deficit to champions and league leaders Juventus.