The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

Birkirkara Technical Director John Arne Riise resigns for personal reasons

Chris Cassar Wednesday, 27 March 2019, 21:50 Last update: about 12 months ago

Premier League side Birkirkara yesterday announced that their Technical Director John Arne Riise has resigned for personal reasons. This was the second blow for Birkirkara in 48 hours following Tuesday's decision of the MFA Complaints Board which ordered the Stripes to pay ex-coach Paul Zammit 123 thousand euros.

The former Norwegian international was appointed as Technical Director three months ago, an appointment that practically relegated coach Paul Zammit to the sidelines, and that sparked Zammit's protest to the Complaints Board, which in turn decided that Zammit's contractual conditions were broken with the appointment of Riise.

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Under Riise's guidance, Birkirkara played eight matches, winning three, drawing three and losing the other two, leaving the Stripes in sixth place, two points behind Sliema who are in fourth place, a place that could mean UEFA Europa League participation next season.

And the Stripes will face Sliema next Sunday in a very important match, which much at stake as regards to European qualification next season. It is believed that Mark Buttigieg will lead the side for this delicate clash against the Wanderers.

Some reports yesterday indicated that former Gzira manager Darren Abdilla was offered the post but it is believed that the same Abdilla declined the offer.

With 110 caps, he is the most capped player for the Norway national team. He was named in the Norway squad for UEFA Euro 2000 but did not play in the tournament. Riise scored 16 goals before his retirement from international duty in 2013. He spent seven years playing for Premier League side Liverpool, in which he won many honours, including the 2004-05 UEFA Champions League, before moving to Roma in 2008.


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