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By ESPN Staff
May 23, 2006

Coach Fernandez quits Marseille hotseat

PARIS, May 23 (Reuters) - Jean Fernandez has resigned as coach of Olympique Marseille, the Ligue 1 club announced on Tuesday.

'Following a meeting between (chairman) Pape Diouf and Jean Fernandez, the resignation of the coach has been ratified,' the club said in a statement on their website.

'Jean Fernandez mentioned personal reasons. The club respect his choice and wish him good luck. We will work hard to find a successor.'

A former Marseille player, the 51-year-old Fernandez returned as coach last June under a two-year contract.

After a series of good results, his first season ended in a poor run which meant Marseille finished fifth in Ligue 1.

They failed to qualify for the Champions League or the UEFA Cup and lost to arch-rivals Paris St Germain in the French Cup final.

Fernandez has been tipped to take over at AJ Auxerre from former France coach Jacques Santini who was sacked on May 17.