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FOOTBALL

Real Sociedad sack manager and name local coach as replacement

Real Sociedad, languishing 15th in La Liga, on Wednesday fired coach Asier Garitano and named Imanol Alguacil as his replacement.

Real Sociedad sack manager and name local coach as replacement
Asier Garitano, pictured, got the sack at Real Sociedad and will be replaced by Imanol Alguacil. Photo: Censar Manso

“Real Sociedad have decided to rescind the contract of first-team coach Asier Garitano,” the club said in a statement on their website. They went on to thank Garitano for “all his contribution, professionalism and dedication”.

Garitano arrived in San Sebastian last summer from Leganes. In 17 league games, he won five and lost eight, including the last four. He leaves with the club four points above the relegation zone.

Alguacil, 47, is a local boy who started his playing career at Real Sociedad. He has been on the club's coaching staff since 2011 and has run the B team since 2013. He had a brief stint as head coach after Eusebio Sacristan was sacked last March.

SPORT

Spain thrown out of 2023 Rugby World Cup

Spain have been thrown out of the 2023 Rugby World Cup for fielding an ineligible South African-born player during the qualifying stages and will be replaced by Romania, World Rugby announced on Thursday.

Spain thrown out of 2023 Rugby World Cup

“Subject to Spain’s right of appeal, the 10-point deduction applied to the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification table means that Romania will qualify as Europe 2 into Pool B replacing Spain,” read the statement.

Portugal — who Spain beat to seal their place in the global showpiece in France next year — replace Romania in the Final Qualification Tournament taking place in November 2022.

“Spain has a right of appeal within 14 days of the date of the full written decision of the committee,” read the statement.

According to Spanish media in March, the player under investigation was South African-born prop Gavin van den Berg, who has been playing in Spain since 2018.

He played twice against the Netherlands, in 2020 and 2021, in qualifiers, but he may not seemingly have served the three years of residency needed to become eligible under World Rugby rules.

Spain, Romania and Belgium were all sanctioned in 2018 for having fielded ineligible players, opening the way for Russia to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

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