x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Pro League club Baniyas part company with manager Lutfi al Benzarti

The Pro League's second-place side have parted company with manager Lutfi al Benzarti following last week's defeat to bottom side Kalba.

ABU DHABI // Baniyas, who are second in the Pro League, have parted company with manager Lutfi al Benzarti following last week's defeat to bottom side Kalba.

He led Baniyas to promotion in 2008/09, took them to a creditable fourth-place finish in their debut Pro League season and has guided them to second in the table this term.

The Tunisian, whose contract was extended for a fourth season last July, has been replaced by Mahdi Ali, the UAE Olympic team coach, who will take charge for the remaining seven matches in the league, which concludes on June 9.

Ali has been "loaned" to Baniyas by the Football Association as the UAE Under 23 team's qualification matches for London 2012 will not start until mid July.

The Emirati's first match in charge is at home to Al Jazira, the league leaders, on Friday.

apassela@thenational.ae