Sevilla fire coach Michel
Spanish top-flight side Sevilla on Monday said they had fired coach Michel for poor recent results and appointed fellow Spaniard Unai Emery. Michel, the 49-year-old former Real Madrid and Spain playmaker, arrived only 11 months ago, but pays the price for the club being only in 12th place, while they had hoped to be pushing for a place in Europe. Emery, 41, had four years in charge of Valencia before taking the reins at Russia’s Spartak Moscow at the start of this season only to be fired in late November after a 5-1 thrashing by Dynamo Moscow.
Zetterberg to fill big skates
Henrik Zetterberg has some big skates to fill. The Detroit Red Wings are expected to officially name Zetterberg their captain soon, and he has already been leading the team on the ice during practices this week. Zetterberg deflected questions yesterday about the honor everyone in the Motor City knows he is about to get. He will open up only a little bit about how much he learned from former Red Wings captains Nicklas Lidstrom and Steve Yzerman. His teammates expect him to speak up more than the soft-spoken Lidstrom did. Zetterberg will have a chance to make his own mark as the storied franchise’s on-ice leader.
Silva out for three weeks
Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian defender Thiago Silva will be out for at least three weeks after he injured a thigh during Friday’s 0-0 draw with AC Ajaccio, the capital club said on Monday. The news is a blow for PSG, whose failure to take three points against a side just one point off the drop zone cost them top spot after Lyon moved two points clear with a 2-1 win at ES Troyes AC. Silva now faces a race against the clock to get fit for their Champions League last 16 first-leg against Valencia on Feb. 11. French international Mamadou Sakho is set to deputize while Silva is out, partnering Brazilian Alex. Italian midfielder Thiago Motto meanwhile faces a suspension for his red card picked up against Ajaccio, further weakening Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who were expected to sweep all before them this season as they chase a first league title in 19 years.
IOC demands new India poll
International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Randhir Singh said the body would consider lifting a ban on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) only if it held free and fair elections based on the Olympic charter. Randhir said yesterday the IOC has written to him asking for fresh elections and will not engage with the IOA office-bearers elected last month in polls already declared illegal by the IOC over the manner of their conduct. Abhay Singh Chautala was elected IOA president and Lalit Bhanot the secretary-general in last month’s elections. Randhir, who was the secretary-general before the latest elections, said the IOC was open to meeting Indian government representatives and has also warned other national associations not to be associated with Chautala and other officials who are currently running the IOA.
Canucks sign Vandermeer
The Vancouver Canucks have signed veteran defenseman Jim Vandermeer. The 32-year-old Vandermeer has played in 461 NHL games and has 105 points (25 goals, 80 assists) and 664 penalty minutes. Vandermeer had one goal and three assists in 25 games with San Jose last season.