Football coach has corrupt players shot

AS A motivational technique it is unlikely to find favour with football managers in the English Premiership. But when Stanislav Bernikov, a Russian coach, accused his team of deliberately losing matches, it seemed that words alone were insufficient to drive home the full force of his unhappiness.

Members of the Metallurg Lipetsk team watched in astonishment as five men entered the stadium after a training session and allegedly beat up Yevgeni Shamrin, Denis Zhurnovsky and Alexei Morochko, the goalkeeper, forward and captain. Members of the gang also fired plastic bullets at the trio, Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported. The club dismissed Mr Bernikov, 52.

The incident occurred after the coach apparently suspected his squad of throwing games for money when the team suffered successive defeats in two away matches. He accused the players of taking bribes shortly before the attack last Saturday. The injured men were taken to hospital in Lipetsk, 280 miles (450km) south of Moscow. The team stands sixth in the Russian second division.

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