Struggling Udinese sack Cioffi as Cannavaro waits in wings

MILAN: Udinese sacked Gabriele Cioffi today with the Serie A club ready to hire Italy legend Fabio Cannavaro in an attempt to avoid relegation.

In a statement Udinese said that they had "relieved Gabriele Cioffi of his role as first team coach" and added that his staff had also been sacked.

Cioffi was dismissed after Udinese fell to a 1-0 defeat at fellow strugglers Verona on Saturday, a loss which left them locked on 28 points with Frosinone and one place above the relegation zone.

Italian media widely report that former Ballon d'Or winner Cannavaro, who captained his country to 2006 World Cup glory, will be in charge on Thursday when Udinese play the final 18 minutes of their home clash with Roma.

Play in that match just over a week ago was suspended with the teams locked at 1-1 after Roma defender Evan Ndicka collapsed on the pitch with what was initially feared to be a heart problem.

However tests later revealed that the Ivory Coast international had suffered "a thoracic trauma with minimal left pneumothorax (trapped air between the lung and chest wall)."

Udinese have a tough run-in after finishing the Roma match, with matches against Bologna, Napoli and in-form Lecce before relegation six-pointers against Empoli and Frosinone in the final days of the campaign. --AFP

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