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By ESPN Staff
Dec 10, 2009

Le Mans sack coach Duarte - report

Portuguese Paulo Duarte became the first coach to be fired in Ligue 1 this season when he was dismissed by Le Mans on Wednesday.

Duarte, 41, joined Le Mans in June while keeping his job as Burkina Faso coach.

Le Mans, second from bottom in Ligue 1, six points from safety, after a run of eight games without a win, said they had asked Duarte not to go the African Nations Cup in Angola next month but he had refused.

"The coach understood my request but said he had given his word to Burkina Faso officials," Le Mans president Henri Legarda said in a statement on the club's website.

Duarte will be replaced by his assistant Arnaud Cormier until the end of the season, the club said.

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