World Sports News in Brief

Barca sack coach Valverde, appoint Setien until 2022

Tuesday, 2020-01-14 08:43:33
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Ernesto Valverde was dismissed after two-and-a-half-seasons in charge at Barcelona. (EPA-EFE/REX)
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Barcelona have sacked coach Ernesto Valverde and named former Real Betis coach Quique Setien as his replacement, the club said in a statement on Monday.

The 55-year-old Valverde, who led Barcelona to successive La Liga titles in 2018 and 2019, came under fire this season for the team’s dip in performance levels even though they top the league standings at the halfway point of the campaign.

* Barcelona have overtaken Real Madrid to top the Deloitte Football Money League for the first time and become the first club to break the 800 million euros (686 million pounds) revenue barrier.

* Australia's top-ranked men's player Alex de Minaur has withdrawn from the inaugural Adelaide International due to a rib injury, organisers said on Monday, joining world number two Novak Djokovic as late withdrawals.

* Roger Federer declared himself ready on Monday to kick off the new season at next week's Australian Open despite having played no competitive matches since November.

* Former world number one Angelique Kerber swept past the challenge from China's Wang Qiang 6-1 6-3 to pick up her first win of the year at the inaugural Adelaide International on Monday.

* The International Tennis Federation (ITF) and three Grand Slams - Wimbledon, US Open and French Open - have collectively pledged US$400,000 to Australian bushfire relief efforts, the sport's international governing body said on Monday.

* Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Mat Ryan has raised AUS$28,000 (US$19,365) for an Australian bushfire animal rescue charity after a novel shot-stopping fundraiser in England's Premier League.

* Juventus and Turkey defender Merih Demiral will undergo surgery for a knee injury, the Turin club said on Monday, potentially ruling him out of the rest of the season and Euro 2020. The 21-year-old was taken off in the 20th minute of Juve's match at AS Roma on Sunday, having earlier scored their opening goal in a 2-1 win which took them top of Serie A.

* Denmark captain Simon Kjaer has joined AC Milan on loan from Sevilla for the rest of the season, the Serie A club said on Monday. The 30-year-old central defender spent the first half of the season on loan at Atalanta where he made six appearances in all competitions.

* Aston Villa have signed goalkeeper Pepe Reina from Italian side AC Milan on loan until the end of the season, the Premier League club announced on Monday.

* Siya Kolisi was voted the UK Rugby Union Writers' Club personality of the year for 2019 on Monday after leading South Africa to their emotional World Cup triumph in Japan.

* Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso recorded his best result of the Dakar Rally on Monday (Jan 13), finishing second behind Frenchman Mathieu Serradori on stage eight.

* Australian Open practice was temporarily suspended on Tuesday (Jan 14) due to poor air quality as bushfires continued to rage across the country.

Reuters, CNA