Cruz Azul sack coack three months after kidnap

December 10, 2005

MEXICO CITY, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Mexican club Cruz Azul have fired coach Ruben Omar Romano, less than three months after he survived a 65-day kidnap ordeal.

The club said in a statement that the decision was taken at a meeting on Friday.

Romano took over at Cruz Azul, one of Mexico's richest and most popular clubs, exactly one year ago.

He led them to the semi-finals of the 2004/5 Clausura championship, held in the first half this year, and then the quarter-finals of the 2005/6 Apertura tournament, which finishes this month.

Romano was kidnapped on July 19 shortly after leaving a training session, when a group of heavily armed men blocked the road and forced him to stop. He was rescued by police on September 21 and released unharmed.

Romano surprisingly returned to the bench three days later but Cruz Azul, who won seven games and lost one under his assistant Isaac Mizrahi, then suffered a loss of form.

Under Romano, they played 11 games, won two, drew three and lost five.

Cruz Azul have one of the strongest squads in the country. Their line-up includes Argentine international Cesar Delgado, Paraguay defender Denis Caniza and Mexican international striker Francisco Fonseca.