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Since 1st March, 1999
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Zidane not in France squad

Paris: Zinedine Zidane was left out of France’s 23-man Confederations Cup squad announced by coach Jacques Santini on Monday.

The defending champions will also be without Zidane’s Real Madrid teammate Claude Makelele for the June 18-29 tournament as the pair will be tied up in the title race in Spain.

France will be without two more midfielders in injured duo Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira. Juventus striker David Trezeguet, needing a rest after a long, injury-plagued season, had already pulled out of the competition.

SquadGoalkeepers: Fabien Barthez, Gregory Coupet, Mickael Landreau. Defenders: Jean-Alain Boumsong, Philippe Mexes, Marcel Desailly, William Gallas, Bixente Lizarazu, Willy Sagnol, Mikael Silvestre, Lilian Thuram. Midfielders: Ousmane Dabo, Olivier Dacourt, Ludovic Giuly, Jerome Rothen, Olivier Kapo, Benoit Pedretti, Robert Pires, Sylvain Wiltord. Forwards: Djibril Cisse, Sydney Govou, Thierry Henry, Steve Marlet.

Racing get a coach

Buenos Aires: Argentine Spanish-based coach Angel Cappa has agreed to take charge of Racing Club following the resignation of Osvaldo Ardiles, a Buenos Aires radio station reported.

Cappa, who had a previous spell at Racing in 1998, told Radio Rivadavia on Sunday from Spain that he had been in talks with the club for more than a week and would soon travel home to finalise terms. Ardiles quit Racing two weeks ago after they were eliminated from the Libertadores Cup and had only a slim chance of winning the Argentine Clausura championship.

Racing, under caretaker coach Emilio Commisso, won their first league point in two games since Ardiles’ departure with a 1-1 draw against Estudiantes de La Plata on Sunday.

Lucescu takes charge

Istanbul: Turkish champions Besiktas have agreed a two-year contract with Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu who will launch their Champions League campaign next season.Lucescu guided Besiktas to the Turkish super league title in his first season with the club after he left Istanbul rivals Galatasaray.

“After talks with Mircea Lucescu, our coach’s contract has been extended by two years,” Besiktas said in a statement to the Istanbul stock exchange.

Sorry return for Gebrselassie

Hengelo (The Netherlands): Olympic 10,000m champion Haile Gebrselassie, making his long-awaited return to the track after being injured last year, was beaten by compatriot Kenenisa Bekele on Sunday.

Gebrselassie, the world record holder for the 10,000, was outsprinted in the last 100m by Bekele, the double world cross-country champion. Fellow Ethiopian Sileshi Sihine, the 2002 world junior silver medallist over 10,000, finished third in a race that never really challenged Gebrselassie’s world record of 26:22.75 — set in 1998. The 20-year-old Bekele finished in a time of 26:53.70 while Gebrselassie crossed the line in 26:54.58, with Sihine third in a personal best of 26:58.76. “I don’t feel bad about beating Haile,” said Bekele. “I have respect for him as a competitor but when you are in the field my aim was of course to win.”

Critics silenced

Mexico City: Former Argentina coach and captain Daniel Passarella silenced his critics at the weekend by leading Monterrey to the Mexican championship semis for the first time in seven years.

Striker Luis Hernandez sent surprise package Veracruz, known as the Red Sharks into the last four of the Clausura meet while defending champions Toluca were knocked out by UNL.


Sport on screen

Soccer, Spanish League — Highlights from 2 pm on STAR Sports , Cricket, Australia vs West Indies — from 6.30 pm on ESPN , Soccer, Best of Premier League from 9 pm on ESPN

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