Sports News

Ghent fire coach on eve of Champions League tie

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian club AA Ghent fired coach Laszlo Boloni on Monday after just 25 days in the job and on the eve of their Champions League qualifying tie against Rapid Vienna of Austria.

Club chairman Ivan De Witte said Boloni had been “miscast” in the role after losing two of three matches in charge.

“I misjudged, maybe we took too hasty a decision,” De Witte told a news conference. “We have to accept that responsibility. To be honest, in my time as chairman, I’ve never felt as much opposition to a coach from both the fans and players. It was a poor choice. Full stop.”

Boloni, a former Romanian international, is the second coaching casualty in two months at the club, who were runners-up last season but are sitting third from bottom in the Belgian league with three points from five games.

They sacked Danish-born coach Jens Thorup after losing their opening pair of matches of the new season and hired Boloni, who has previously worked in Belgium and at clubs such as Sporting Lisbon, Monaco and PAOK Salonika.

Assistant coach Wim De Decker will take charge for Tuesday’s Champions League third qualifying round match at home.

The winner will meet either AZ Alkmaar of the Netherlands or Ukraine’s Dynamo Kyiv over two legs later this month for a place in the group stages of the continental competition.

Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge