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Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2006

Purple Sanga fire manager

KYOTO (Kyodo) Struggling J. League first-division club Kyoto Purple Sanga dismissed manager Koichi Hashiratani and named assistant coach Naohiko Minobe as his successor on Tuesday.

The move came after Hashiratani, 45, failed to lift his side away from the relegation dogfight after helping Kyoto win the second-division title last season and earn promotion back to the top flight.

Kyoto is in 16th place in the 18-team table on 18 points from 25 matches, just two points ahead of last-place Avispa Fukuoka.

The bottom two teams automatically go down while the team third from bottom team will play in a relegation-promotion playoff.

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