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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

Former Senegal and UAE coach Bruno Metsu has stepped down as manager of Dubai-based club Al Wasl "after being diagnosed with stomach cancer," according to REUTERS. The Frenchman replaced Diego Maradona as coach back in July. The 58-year-old, who took Senegal to the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, has been "relieved of his duties after Al Wasl's board accepted his request to leave." Metsu's assistant, Gilles Morisseau, will take over as interim manager (REUTERS, 10/27).

NO MARADONA RETURN: In Dubai, Ashley Hammond reported that Diego Maradona is "not about to make a dramatic return" to coach Al Wasl. Word of a possible Maradona return had been fueled by the fact that he has "maintained good relations with his former employers" after taking up an ambassadorial role for the Dubai Sports Council. He also still has a home in Jumeirah hotels. A spokesperson for the club "refused to rule out the possibility of the board reverting back to the resumes of unsuccessful candidates from the time Metsu was appointed, but he adamantly denied that Maradona would be making a comeback anytime soon" (GULF NEWS, 10/28).

Serie A club Napoli faces "the prospect of heavy sanctions after the Italian football federation (FIGC) confirmed it is investigating allegations of match-fixing," according to the PA. The club's former goalkeeper Matteo Gianello, now a free agent, "has been accused of attempting to fix the outcome of Napoli's Serie A match at Sampdoria in '10." In addition, defenders Gianluca Grava and Paolo Cannavaro have been "accused of failing to report the incident" after having been approached. FIGC said in a statement: "The FIGC can confirm that, following an investigation by the public prosecutor of Naples, the federal prosecutor will open disciplinary proceedings in relation to the Sampdoria-Napoli match of May 16, 2010." Napoli has also been "deferred as the club involved at the time, and could face a points deduction" (PA, 10/26).