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Coaches culled in Azerbaijan

Published: Thursday 21 July 2005, 8.45CET
Monthly review: The frantic pace of Azerbaijani top-flight football shows no sign of slowing in the close season.

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Published: Thursday 21 July 2005, 8.45CET

Coaches culled in Azerbaijan

Monthly review: The frantic pace of Azerbaijani top-flight football shows no sign of slowing in the close season.
By Erkin Ibragimov

The frantic pace of Azerbaijani football shows no sign of slowing in the close season, with changes aplenty across the First Division.

Karvan replace coach
FK Karvan Evlakh reacted to their third-place finish by replacing coach Yunis Huseynov with Turkish tactician Fuat Yaman, while MTK Araz Imishli have also recruited a foreign trainer, Ukrainian Igor Nakonechnyy.

Managerial merry-go-round
Several more clubs have backed Azeris to turn their fortunes around. Afghan Talybov has taken the helm at FK Genclerbirliyi Sumgayit, FK Geyazan Gazakh have appointed Mersed Yagubaliyev, and veteran Sabir Aliyev is the new boss of FK Shahdag Gusar.

Lenkoran overhaul
Last year's runners-up FK Khazar Lenkoran have overhauled their playing staff, offloading five Turkish players, among them former international Oktay Derelioglu, and signing a glut of homegrown talent.

Homegrown spree
New arrivals include PFC Neftchi midfielder Emin Guliyev, Karvan trio Makhmud Gurbanov, Kamal Guliyev and Zaur Ramazanov, Vugar Nadyrov of FK Karabakh, and FK MOIK goalkeeper Mikail Yusifov. All are either Azeri internationals or in contention to play for the country.

Shamkir woe
Two-time Azeri champions FK Shamkir may not kick off the new campaign due to financial difficulties. The 2000 and 2001 title winners have no sponsor and could fold unless they can persuade former owner Shahbaz Suleymanov to return.

Registration fees
Clubs must now pay to register players and coaches under new rules passed by the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan. A local player will cost €1,230 and a foreigner €4,100 while the fee for a foreign coach is €8,200.

Critical clubs
Some sides have criticised the ruling, while FK Karat Baku, Geyazan, Shahdag and newly-promoted FK Energetik have reportedly hinted they will not be able to afford the fees.

Sadygoy back in control
Finally, Azerbaijan have appointed a new head coach of the national team. Vagif Sadygov replaces the Brazilian Carlos Alberto Torres for his third spell in charge. Sadygov's contract runs for the rest of 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying with an option to extend it.

Last updated: 31/01/12 5.42CET

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