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Six Brazilian coaches leave clubs

December 22, 2004 11:37 IST
Six coaches have left their clubs in the 48 hours since the Brazilian championship ended on Sunday while former World Cup player Junior has resigned as technical director of Flamengo.

Atletico Paranaense, who finished runners-up to Santos, said on Tuesday they were looking for a replacement for Levir Culpi, who was negotiating with Cruzeiro, while Fluminense presented Abel Braga as their new coach.

Braga replaced Alexandre Gama, who was promoted from the youth team in August and led the club to ninth place, the best of the four Rio de Janeiro clubs.

Gama had hoped to be kept on for next year.

Junior, who played at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups, announced his departure from Flamengo on Tuesday and blamed interference in his work from other directors for his decision.

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Flamengo, who claim to be Brazil's most popular club, narrowly escaped relegation after a tumultuous season in which players complained about being paid late and, on one occasion, scuffled with protesting fans at Rio de Janeiro airport.

Relegated Criciuma fired Lori Sandri after a board meeting on Monday while Figueirense said they were dismissing Dorival Junior.

Gremio coach Claudio Duarte quit following a 2-0 defeat by Guarani on Sunday while Celso Roth announced his departure from Goias in the dressing rooms after they beat Sao Paulo 2-0.

Duarte had been in charge the last eight games of a disastrous campaign by former South American champions Gremio, who finished bottom and were relegated.

The latest coaching changes meant there were 42 coaching victims in 46 rounds of matches over the last season.

Relegated Guarani were the most volatile club as they used five coaches -- Joel Santana, Zetti, Lori Sandri, Agnaldo Liz and Jair Picerni.

They were followed by Atletico Mineiro, Gremio and Flamengo, who used four each.

Goias, Juventude, Figueirense and Coritiba were the only teams who managed to complete the championship without changing coach.

Brian Homewood
Source:
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