Former South African international defender Mark Fish has retired from professional football due to a persistent knee injury. The 31-year-old was released by English Premiership side Charlton Athletic FC at the end of the 2004/05 campaign and had recently been on loan at second-tier team Ipswich Town FC. Fish enjoyed spells at Orlando Pirates, S.S. Lazio and Bolton Wanderers FC and won 62 caps during an eleven-year international career, featuring in South Africa's triumphant 1996 African Cup of Nations squad.
Another player to announce his departure from the game is former German international Zoltan Sebescen. The 29-year-old has decided to hang up his boots after six unsuccessful operations on his left knee in the last two years. Sebescen made 72 Bundesliga appearances for VfL Wolfsburg and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, scoring 13 times. He also played in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final, in which Bayer lost 2-1 to Real Madrid CF.
Also in Germany, VfB Stuttgart's new signing Mario Carevic has been given clearance to make his Bundesliga debut, following his move from Al Ittihad. The Croatian international midfielder was forced to sit out last Sunday's 3-2 defeat by 1. FC Köln as his registration was still held by the Saudi Arabian club.
Real Betis Balompié midfielder Benjamín Zarandona has joined Primera División newcomers Cádiz CF on loan for the season. The 29-year-old former Real Valladolid player has been with Betis for seven years.
Dominik Thalhammer has been sacked as coach of VfB Admira Wacker Mödling. Thalhammer's fate was sealed after Admira Wacker lost their first six games of the Austrian Bundesliga season, including a 5-0 reverse against SV Pasching in his final match, which left Admira six points adrift at the bottom. Thalhammer was appointed in September 2004, and brought in 13 players over the summer, including five former Austrian internationals. Robert Pflug has been named as his successor.
PFC Levski Sofia have allowed forward Georgi Chilikov to join CD Nacional for an undisclosed fee, ahead of their crucial UEFA Cup second qualifying round return leg against NK Publikum. The 26-year-old Bulgarian international has signed a four-year contract with the Portuguese outfit, ending a four-year association with Levski, where he won the league title in 2002.
Serie A newcomers Ascoli Calcio have taken defender Maurizio Domizzi on a season's loan from UC Sampdoria. The 25-year-old played 29 games during a similar spell at Brescia Calcio last term. Domizzi has also appeared in Italy's top tier with Modena FC.
Heracles Almelo and De Graafschap have been removed from the Dutch Cup by the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) for fielding ineligible players. The suspended Jeffrey de Visscher played in De Graafschap's 2-0 win against AFC Amateurs, while Sergio Hellings was not entitled to play in Heracles' 3-0 victory against DCG Amateurs. Consequently, both amateur teams have progressed to the second round.
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