Doha - Former Italy and Chelsea star Gianfranco Zola has
been sacked as coach of Al-Arabi, a spokesman for the Qatari Stars League side
said on Monday.
Zola, who lasted just one season in Qatar, will be replaced
by veteran Uruguayan coach, Gerardo Pelusso.
"Our president has said he is going to change the
coach," the spokesman for Al-Arabi told AFP.
Asked if Zola, who signed a two-year contract with the
Doha-based club in July 2015, had been sacked, the spokesman replied:
Despite being one of the biggest names in the Qatari league,
the Italian, who celebrates his 50th birthday next week, appears to have paid
the price for Al-Arabi's poor league form.
Also read: Zola says several Qatar clubs interested in Terry
The club finished eighth in the 14-team league, exactly the
same position and with the same number of points, 35, as the previous season.
The decision to replace Zola comes after the club installed
a new president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Jabr Al-Thani.
Managerial changes are common at Al-Arabi and Zola was the
12th coach at the club in just the past six years.
Previous Al-Arabi coaches included Zola's former Chelsea
teammate Dan Petrescu and Germany's Uli Stielike.
Zola, who was voted Chelsea's greatest ever player by fans
after almost seven years at the London club, has been linked to a return in
Recent media reports have claimed that he could become the
next manager at former European champions, Nottingham Forest.
Al-Arabi will be the 22nd club for Pelusso as coach.
The 62-year-old Uruguayan has previously been in charge of
the Paraguayan national team and was most recently the coach of Colombian side,
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