Archive | April 28, 2015

Lokeren’s Gregory Mertens collapses on the pitch….

Gregory Mertens

Sporting Lokeren and┬áBelgium defender Gregory Mertens collapsed on the pitch with a heart-related illness. He is in a critical condition after being given CPR in the first half of Monday’s reserve-team game with Genk. The 24-year-old is in an induced coma in a Genk hospital on a life support machine. “Sporting Lokeren sympathises with the family and hopes for a positive outcome,” read a club statement. The Jupiler Pro League club say that the exact nature of Mertens’ heart condition has yet to be established. They added that Mertens passed all the pre-season health tests required by Europe’s football governing body Uefa and was judged to be one of the fittest players at the club. A former Belgium Under-21 international, Mertens joined Lokeren in the summer from Cercle Brugge, and has played in 15 league games this term, as well as against Hull City in the Europa League in August. Monday’s game was postponed while Mertens was being treated.┬áNigeria’s Peter Rufai once played for Lokeren, his first port of call in Europe.

 

Yohannes Sahle is Ethiopia’s new coach….

Ethiopia have appointed Yohannes Sahle as the new national team coach. Sahle replaces Portuguese Mariano Barreto, who paid the price for failing to qualify the team for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. “I played for Ethiopia from the youth team to the national team. Now I am very happy to be the coach of the team I played for,” Sahle told BBC Sport. “I’m delighted and really grateful to be given this role. I will serve with dignity and my full potential.” The 49-year-old’s first task is to prepare the team for the 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers, starting in June. Sahle is an Ethiopia-born US citizen who had a successful playing career in the mid 1980s with the top Ethiopian teams before leaving for America. He returned to Ethiopia in 2010 to take the technical director role at Ethiopian Football Federation. Later he managed the U-17 national team and his last role was as coach of Dedebit, one of the top teams in the Ethiopian Premier League.