Monday, 12 May 2008

Desperate Parma discard Cuper

Parma have ditched coach Hector Cuper less than a week before their make-or-break Serie A fixture with Inter.

Following their 3-1 loss to Fiorentina on Sunday, Parma's future in the top-flight of Italian football now hinges on next weekend's final day showdown with the club formerly coached by Cuper.

However, the Argentinian, who was only appointed on March 10 to replace Domenico Di Carlo, will now miss the opportunity of facing his former club next weekend.

"The club Parma FC communicate that they have relieved Mr Hector Cuper of his duties as coach of the first team of Parma FC as of today's date," read a statement from the Emilia-Romagna outfit.

"The technical responsibility for the first team will be given to Mr Andrea Manzo, coach of the Parma FC youth team, and he will be on the bench on Sunday, May 18 against Inter."

Cuper was coach of the Inter side which famously lost the Scudetto on the final day of the season, which they had led from start to finish, in 2002.

Six years ago, the Nerazzurri fell to a 4-2 defeat against Lazio while Juventus, who had been six points behind with five games of the season remaining - exactly like Roma's deficit at the same stage of the current campaign - clinched the Scudetto with a 2-0 win over Udinese.

The roles would have been reversed on Sunday with Cuper plotting the downfall of the Nerazzurri and a win which could have saved Parma from relegation.

And with Roberto Mancini's side threatening to do the same again this season, Inter fans will be glad that Cuper, who only won nine points from 10 games in charge of the Gialloblu, will not be there to remind them of 2002, which would certainly have added a twist to what is set to be a dramatic final day of action in Serie A.

Parma need to beat Inter at the Stadio Ennio Tardini and hope Catania - coached by former Inter goalkeeping great Walter Zenga - lose at home to Roma on Sunday to remain in the top flight, a combination of results which would also crown Roma as champions of Italy.

Source: Reuters / UEFA

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