Rajevac departs Ghana after World Cup heroics

Milovan Rajevac has quit as coach of World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana after failing to agree a new contract and taken charge of Saudi Arabian club Al Ahly Jeddah instead.

The 56-year-old Serb signed an 18-month deal with Al Ahly, the Ghana Football Association said in a brief statement yesterday. The Ghana Football Association (GFA) said last month Rajevac was close to signing a new contract.

"The GFA has officially been notified by Mr. Milovan Rajevac of his desire to take up a fresh challenge elsewhere," the GFA said. "He relinquishes his position as head coach of the Black Stars after two years and the GFA would like to place on record our gratitude for his services and wish him all the best in his future career. Though we find his departure unfortunate after two years of great strides, we confirm the search for a new coach has begun."

The quietly-spoken Rajevac emerged from coaching anonymity to make a big impact during his two years in charge of the Black Stars. Ghana qualified in style for the World Cup finals in South Africa and also reached the final of the African Cup of Nations in Angola at the start of the year. The team's charge to the last eight of the World Cup was all the more impressive as they were without Chelsea's Michael Essien, through injury.

Rajevac's departure means all six coaches in charge of African teams at the World Cup have now left their posts. Algeria's Rabah Saadane resigned earlier this month while the coaches of Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and South Africa departed after the tournament.

The Ajax midfielder Evander Sno had be to revived by a defibrillator on three occasions after suffering a cardiac arrest during Monday night's reserve game at Vitesse Arnhem, according to coach Albert van der Dussen.

The 23-year-old fell to the ground 18 minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute and was treated on the pitch for more than 10 minutes before being taken to hospital. "At first I thought he stumbled, but very quickly everyone realised there was something seriously wrong due to the foam around his mouth," Van der Dussen said.

"Fortunately our doctor and physio were there quickly. They have performed an heroic act and saved his life. They gave him the defibrillator three times. We feared for his life, he was very lucky."

Sno, who started his career at Feyenoord before spells at NAC Breda, Celtic, Ajax and Bristol City, finally came round.

"He looked surprised to see all those people there," added Van der Dussen. "I don't think he realised what was going on but everyone was greatly relieved. The ambulance crew then took over and took him to hospital."

Benfica's board of directors have urged their supporters not to attend away matches as a protest against several refereeing errors in Friday's 2-1 defeat at Vitoria Guimaraes. "We want to ask the fans to continue supporting Benfica... in the games at the Luz Stadium but to abstain from travelling to away games," the board said in a statement ahead of last night's Champions League Group B opener at home to Hapoel Tel Aviv. "Given the evidence of so many mistakes the hope of a serious [Portuguese] championship is still alive but it has been badly hurt."

Coach Jorge Jesus and football director Rui Costa criticised referee Olegario Benquerenc's decisions after Friday's match, including two Benfica penalty claims that were turned down. The board also said the refereeing errors may persuade them to pull out of the League Cup this season.

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