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Xamax follow takeover by sacking coach

Fresh from announcing their new multi-millionaire owner, Neuchâtel Xamax football club have fired coach Didier Olle-Nicolle.

Neuchâtel released Olle-Nicolle after a 4-1 home defeat against Thun on Wednesday, leaving the struggling first division club two points clear of relegation with three games left.

The firing came hours before the club's new majority owner Bulat Chagaev arrived to meet fans and shareholders. Chagaev’s takeover was officially ratified by the club’s general assembly on Thursday.

Chagaev, an associate of ex-Chechen warlord and current President Ramzan Kadyrov, has promised to take the debt-ridden Swiss side into the Uefa Champions League.

Chagaev has strong connections to Chechen club Terek Grozny, which recently hired Ruud Gullit as coach.

Diego Maradona played in a friendly on Wednesday to inaugurate Grozny's stadium before travelling to Geneva. There had been speculation in the Swiss media linking the club to Maradona, but Xamax officials dismissed reports that he would be hired.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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