Spal fires Semplici, who brought club up from Serie C to A

The Associated Press

FERRARA, Italy (AP) -- Leonardo Semplici, the coach who in five years led Spal up from the third division to Serie A, was fired by the Ferrara-based club Monday.

Luigi Di Biagio, a former midfielder for Italy's national team who recently coached the country's under-21 squad, was hired to replace Semplici with a contract through the end of the season.

The move comes with Spal in last place in the top division and having conceded 10 goals over its last three matches - all losses.

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''The club thanks coach Semplici and his staff for the job they did and the results obtained over these years - results that permitted the club to realize big goals and bring Spal back to Serie A after 49 years,'' a club statement said.

Spal finished 17th and 13th in Serie A the past two seasons, respectively.

It's the 12th coaching change in the 20-team Italian league this season.

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