Almeria sack coach Martinez

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Madrid, April 6 (IANS) Spanish La Liga strugglers Almeria sacked coach Juan Ignacio Martinez on Sunday in the wake of his side’s 4-1 defeat at home to Levante.

Martinez, who had been in his job for less than four months, becomes the second Almeria coach to lose his job this season after Francisco Javier Rodriguez was sacked in December following a run of just two draws from eight matches, reported Xinhua.

The former Levante and Valladolid coach had started his term by helping provoke an upturn in form, but Almeria have struggled in recent weeks taking just three points from their last seven matches and as a result the club has slipped to 19th place in the league.

Part of the fault for that, however, is the result of a three-point penalty imposed by FIFA for the non-payment of a 50,000 euro debt ($55,000) relating to the signing of Danish defender Michael Jakobson from Aarlborg in 2010 and it appears the sanction, which Almeria have appealed against has damaged morale at the club.

Almeria’s next game sees them visit FC Barcelona in the Camp Nou Stadium on Wednesday.

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