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Sports News

Boban sacked by AC Milan after public criticism of CEO Gazidis

ROME (Reuters) - AC Milan have confirmed the sacking of Chief Football Officer Zvonimir Boban after his public spat with the Serie A club’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ivan Gazidis.

The Croatian, who played for Milan between 1991 and 2001, has been relieved of his duties nine months after returning to San Siro in the newly created CFO role.

Gazidis said in a club statement: “We thank Zvone for his efforts over the past nine months and wish him well in his future endeavours.

“We must now turn our attention to football and the important games to come.”

Relations between Boban and Gazidis soured when the CEO reportedly contacted former RB Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick about taking on a role at the club next season as coach and potentially director of sport, without consulting Boban or Technical Director Paolo Maldini.

Boban made his unhappiness clear in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport on Feb. 29, in which he called Gazidis’s behaviour “disrespectful and inelegant”.

The Croatian’s contract was terminated with immediate effect on Saturday, while Gazidis also took the opportunity to express his backing for coach Stefano Pioli, who was appointed following the sacking of Marco Giampaolo in October 2019.

“Stefano Pioli and his staff are doing an exceptional job growing the performances of the team every week and will have our full support as they continue this work in what is a difficult time for the country,” he said.

Serie A fixtures are being played behind closed doors until April 3 in a bid to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 230 people in Italy.

AC Milan, who are seventh in Serie A, had a league clash with Genoa and a Coppa Italia semi-final second leg against Juventus postponed last week as a result of the outbreak.

They will face 18th-placed Genoa at an empty San Siro on Sunday.

Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; editing by Clare Fallon

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