Grim Van Himst

European football
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The Independent Online
THE former Anderlecht star Paul Van Himst has been sacked as the Belgium coach after a run of poor results, including failure to qualify for the European Championship finals.

The 52-year-old, who played 81 times for the national team, took his men to the second round of the 1994 World Cup finals, but the side have suffered a serious slump ever since. Van Himst's assistant, Wilfried Van Moer, 51, has been named coach until a successor is found.

In Serie A, Milan welcome back George Weah for today's away game with Napoli. The Liberian striker has had a lengthy lay-off with a broken arm, sustained last month in Milan's Uefa Cup defeat at the hands of Bordeaux .

Mid-table Napoli will be without three suspended players - the Argentine defender Roberto Ayala and the midfielders Renato Buso and Raffaele Longo.

The Spanish league leaders, Atletico Madrid, who are still in contention for their first ever league and cup double, play host to fifth-placed Real Betis today. However, with seven games to play and only three points separating them and Barcelona, the Championship race is still wide open.

But Atletico's march to the title will face its greatest challenge next weekend when they travel to Barcelona, whose coach, Johann Cruyff, remains typically defiant: "We're not giving up on anything, not the league nor our self-confidence."