Vercauteren axed by Sporting
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Sporting Lisbon sacked Belgian coach Franky Vercauteren on Monday less than three months after he was appointed.

The 56-year-old - a former international playmaker who was a pivotal member of the outstanding side that reached the 1986 FIFA World Cup™ semi-finals - has been replaced by sporting director Jesualdo Ferreira after he failed to revive the fortunes of the ailing giants.

"As of today Frank Vercauteren is no longer head coach of the football team," read a terse statement from the club released to the stock exchange.

Sporting - 18-times champions though the last occasion was in the 2001/02 season with their last trophy coming in the 2008 Portuguese Cup - were eliminated from the Portuguese Cup and the UEFA Europa League during Vercauteren's brief spell in charge.

They also won just twice in the league under him leaving them 12th in the table after 13 matches.

Ferreira, who was appointed sporting director in the middle of December, is Sporting's fourth coach this season and had previously been with Greek side Panathinaikos, who sacked him last November after a two year term in charge.

Aside from a disappointing short spell with Spanish side Malaga the 66-year-old guided Porto to three successive league titles from 2007-09 after previously coaching Benfica and Sporting Braga.