Emery gets the sack
Former Valencia boss Unai Emery was sacked as Spartak Moscow coach following a 5-1 home defeat by bitter city rivals Dynamo Moscow in a Russian Premier League derby on Sunday. “The club’s shareholders made a decision that Unai Emery will no longer coach Spartak,” Spartak director-general Valery Karpin said, adding that a decision on a new coach will be made in the next few days. Emery was given a vote of confidence by Spartak owner Leonid Fedun just five days ago following a 3-0 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League, but after a second home beating in a week, the axe finally fell on the Spaniard. Emery was appointed Spartak coach in May, replacing former Russia international Karpin, despite the team finishing last season in second place and qualifying for the Champions League. The 41-year-old was given a two-year contract after he led Valencia to three consecutive third places in Spain behind Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Chelsea mourn Sexton
Dave Sexton, who led Chelsea to its first European and FA Cup successes as manager in the 1970s, has died. He was 82. Sexton died on Saturday night, former Chelsea goalkeeper Peter Bonetti said. Chelsea did not disclose the cause of death, but club historian Rick Glanvill said he had been suffering from dementia. During his period as Chelsea manager between 1967 and 1974, Sexton followed up the FA Cup triumph over Leeds in 1970 with a European Cup Winners’ Cup final victory over Real Madrid the following year. “He passed away peacefully last night,” said Bonetti, who played under Sexton. “Everybody loved him and everybody respected him here at Chelsea, and he will go down in the club’s history as being such a fantastic guy who brought us so much success.”
Argonauts take Grey Cup
Quarterback Ricky Ray tossed a pair of touchdown passes on Sunday as the Toronto Argonauts defeated the Calgary Stampeders 35-22 to capture the historic 100th Grey Cup. Ray completed 18-of-30 passes for 231 yards and an interception for the Argonauts, who won their first Grey Cup in eight years. Argos running back Chad Kackert carried the ball 20 times for 133 yards and caught eight passes for 62 yards for Toronto at the Rogers Centre stadium. The Grey Cup is one of Canada’s largest annual sporting events and was commissioned in 1909 by the Earl Grey, who was then Canada’s governor-general.
Cooper turns to boxing
Controversial Australia flyhalf Quade Cooper is to put his rugby career on hold to make his professional boxing debut in February, the player said yesterday. Cooper said he had rejected a contract with the Australian Rugby Union after being offered an incentive-based deal usually awarded to fringe squad members. The 24-year-old will instead make his boxing debut on the undercard when close friend Sonny Bill Williams faces South African Francois Botha in Brisbane on Feb. 8. “It [boxing] is been a big interest for me after following Sonny and Choc [Anthony Mundine], and when I caught a live fight the first time and saw how they trained,” Cooper said in Brisbane. Cooper, recuperating from a knee injury, said he would continue to train with the Queensland Reds, with whom he is currently contracted till the end of the year.