Rangers’ opponents in the Europa League Round of 32, Braga, have sacked their manager and according to an O Jogo report, are facing complications with his ‘successor.’

The sacking of Ricardo Sa Pinto and his assistant coaches, Rui Mota and Guilherme Gomes, was confirmed on Monday afternoon via an official statement on the club’s website.

‘SC Braga thanks Sá Pinto and his team for the commitment and dedication with which they have served this symbol while noting their good times, especially in the UEFA Europa League, and also expressing their best wishes for the future,’ read the statement on SCBraga.pt. [translated].

It’s a move prompted by the team’s wretched start to the Primeira Liga season. Unlike in European competition, in which they have bested the likes of Wolves and Besiktas, the Portuguese club have struggled in the league and currently sit just seven points clear of the relegation zone.

The press release went on to state that a new management team would be confirmed by 27th December, when the players return to training following their winter break.

However, Porto-based sports newspaper O Jogo reports that Pinto’s ‘successor’ has already been decided on. The problem is, that he ‘cannot assume the status of head coach’ due to league regulations.

It’s suggested that Ruben Amorim, who had been coach of the B-team, will take over management duties, but that he doesn’t have a ‘regulatory level IV’ which is is a requirement for all Primeira Liga head coaches.

This would mean that Amorim would, at least initially, be restricted in terms of what he can do on the touchline and in post-match interviews. It’s claimed that goalkeeping coach Jorge Vital, would perform those duties as he has the required qualifications.

Ricardo Sa Pinto was sacked despite his side’s excellent European performances. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)


There appears to be plenty of upheaval at Braga, with the team’s remarkable unbeaten run through Europa League Group K, not enough to convince the club’s hierarchy to stick with the manager.

If Amorim is officially appointed, despite his reported lack of the required qualifications, the quirky new set up may take some getting used to for the players.

The good news for the Portuguese, though, is that whatever new management team the board put their faith in, they will have had a month and a half to bed in before Braga travel to Ibrox on 20th February.

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