Sevilla sack cancer-stricken coach Berizzo

Madrid (AFP) –


Sevilla sacked coach Eduardo Berizzo on Friday just a month after it was announced the Argentine is suffering from prostate cancer, the club said, citing poor results.

"The Sevilla board... has taken the decision to sack the coach of the first team due to the bad form of the team," Sevilla said in a statement, without making reference to Berizzo's illness.

News of Berizzo's condition was released just hours after Sevilla battled back from a 3-0 half-time deficit against Liverpool to secure a famous 3-3 draw that helped book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will face Manchester United.

The former Argentine international then missed four matches as he underwent surgery on a tumour with his assistant coach Ernesto Marcucci taking charge.

Marcucci's last match in charge was a 5-0 thrashing by Real Madrid, but Berizzo's return to the bench has failed to inspire an upturn in fortunes as Sevilla were held 0-0 at home by Levante a week ago before losing 3-1 at Real Sociedad on Wednesday.

Defeat left Sevilla still just two points off the top four in fifth place, but fourth-placed Real Madrid have two games in hand, including Saturday's El Clasico against Barcelona.

"The club has already begun talks to formalise the hiring of the new coach of Sevilla FC, who is expected to join when the staff return after the Christmas holidays," added Sevilla's statement.

The Andalusians aren't in action again until they face Cadiz in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last 16 tie on January 3.