Sion coach steps down as club’s crisis deepens

Frenchman Laurent Roussey on Monday announced his resignation as coach of Swiss outfit FC Sion following some virulent criticism of his efforts by chairman Christian Constantin, Sport Information news agency reported.

Roussey, who only took over from Bernard Challandes 14 months ago, stepped down a day after a 3-0 loss to Basel.

Sion have endured a nightmare of a season, not least becoming embroiled in legal conflicts which pitted them – unsuccessfully – against European governing body UEFA, who excluded them from the Europa League for violating FIFA transfer regulations.

The Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) backed UEFA in the contretemps while a Swiss civil case brought by the club has been shelved by Swiss prosecutors.

The row erupted after the club, on whom FIFA imposed a transfer embargo over the signing of Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, proceeded to sign six players in the summer.

The club then fielded five of the six during a Europa League play-off tie against Celtic and were kicked out of the competition.

Sion in addition were docked 36 points as a punishment.

That sanction would have meant relegation but Neuchatel Xamax were expelled from the top flight after 18 games for going bankrupt.

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