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LA LIGA

Osasuna sack coach after three matches

Spanish side Osasuna fired their coach José Luis Mendilibar on Tuesday after a disappointing start to the season left them bottom of La Liga, the club said.

Osasuna sack coach after three matches
Three strikes and you're out: Osasuna's poor start to the season has already coach José Luis Mendilibar his job. Photo: José Jordan/AFP

"We have analysed the play and results of the first three matches of this season along with nine games of last season and we have come to this decision," the club's president Miguel Archanco said in a statement.

It was the first sacking of a manager in Spain's top flight this season.

The club's board took the decision "unanimously", the statement said.

Archanco said the club had four possible replacements in mind, but did not name them. He added that assistant coach Alfredo Sanchez will take charge until one is chosen.

Mendilibar's sacking followed the Pamplona club's 3-0 home defeat to Villareal on Saturday and earlier defeats to Athletic Bilbao (2-0) and Granada (2-1).

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FOOTBALL

‘Something no black player wants’: Bilbao striker suffers racist abuse

Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams said he was the victim of racist abuse on Saturday during his team's 1-1 draw away to Espanyol in La Liga.

'Something no black player wants': Bilbao striker suffers racist abuse
Bilbao striker Inaki Williams celebrates during Saturdays game against Espagnol. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP
“I'm a little sad because of the draw but especially because I have suffered racist insults,” Williams told the official club website after the game. “It's something that no black player or player of any race wants to hear. It's something totally out of place.”
   
“People have to come to the stadium to enjoy the game, to cheer on their team, to enjoy football. It's a game of friendship, of the team,” added the forward. “The truth is that it has been a sad day because of what I am telling you,
because these events that are totally out of place do not have to happen.”
 
Inaki wrote later on social media: “It is very sad that today we continue to experience racism in football. We have to end it. Thank you for your support. #Nomocracies #Semiostracism.”
 
   
Athletic Bilbao offered their backing for the 25-year-old. “All our support to @Williaaams45,” the club wrote in a message on Twitter. “Before anything, zero tolerance for racism.”
 
La Liga and the Spanish Football Federation are yet to comment but La Liga president Javier Tebas said it had been a dark day for the sport after violence also broke out between fans of Barcelona and Valencia before their fixture at Mestalla.
   
“Today we have taken a step back in the work that we started years ago,” Tebas wrote on Twitter. “The violent incidents between fans of Barcelona and Valencia, the racist insults made at Inaki Williams — these things are doing a lot of damage to Spanish football. “La Liga takes responsibility. We will look at the clubs where there has been wrongdoing.”
   
Referee Jose Sanchez made no mention of racism in his official report of the match between Espanyol and Bilbao.
   
The game also continued, unlike in December, when a Spanish second division fixture between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete was suspended with the agreement of the two clubs and La Liga.
   
Some Rayo supporters had chanted “Zozulya is a Nazi” in the first half against Albacete's Ukrainian striker Roman Zozulya, who had previously played for Rayo.
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