Defending Cyprus champion APOEL lets coach go after 8 months

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) Cyprus league titleholder APOEL parted with coach Yiorgos Donis and his staff on Thursday.

He was immediately replaced by Bruno Miguel Nunes Baltazar with seven games left. The 40-year-old Portuguese coached AEL Limassol until this month.

Baltazar was chosen because of his local knowledge and familiarity with APOEL's players and opponents, club chairman Prodromos Petrides said on the team website.

APOEL said it mutually agreed with Donis on his departure. The Greek had been in charge for eight months. He also coached APOEL from 2013-15, leading the team into the Champions League.

Petrides said the board of directors decided a coaching change would be helpful in "fulfilling the team's championship goals."

Baltazar is APOEL's seventh coach in three years, and Petrides said the changes have all been made for the good of the team.

There was much speculation about Donis' future after APOEL lost to Apollonas Limassol 4-2 last weekend.

APOEL dropped to second place in the standings behind Apollonas, casting doubt on APOEL's chance of winning the league for a record sixth straight year.

Updated March 22, 2018

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