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The Hat-trick | PSG Sack Thomas Tuchel, Eye Pochettino as New Manager; FIFA U-20, U-17 World Cups moved to 2023; Scott Parker to Miss Southampton Clash Due to Covid Positives in Household

The Hat-trick (Top Football News of the Day): Paris Saint-Germain are set to appoint Argentine Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager following the decision to sack Thomas Tuchel: Reports | Following on the heels of the Women’s U17 World Cup, FIFA has postponed the men’s age groupe events too | Fulham Manager Scott Parker will take charge from home virtually during the Southampton match due to being forced into self isolation.
Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino is set to join PSG as the French side's new manager.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) sacked manager Thomas Tuchel on Christmas eve. Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is set to replace him as per reports in various media outlets, who have all attributed the news of the development to sources in the club.

As per a report in ESPN, which cites a source, Pochettino, who spent five years with Spurs before his axing last November, has been in negotiations with PSG for two weeks. Pochettino has had experience at PSG as a player, spending two years in Paris, and won the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2001.

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Tuchel, who  had overseen four losses for PSG in Ligue 1 this season, had very little going his way. Despite his popularity amongst players, many players expected Tuchel to get sacked. A dip in the side’s performance made the decision easier. 

Tuchel held meetings with club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Leonardo, who decided to replace him last week due to his tension with the latter and a lack of a definitive playing style. 

The French champions suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of table-topping Lyon on Dec. 13 before a goalless draw at Lille on Sunday.

The exit comes four months after Tuchel led the club to their first Champions League final, where they lost to Bayern Munich in Lisbon.

Tuchel was appointed on a two-year contract in 2018, replacing Unai Emery, and won the Ligue 1 title in his first campaign before claiming a domestic treble in his second as well as reaching the Champions League final.

However, his third season in Paris was overshadowed by a disagreement with Leonardo over player recruitment.

FIFA U-20, U-17 World Cups moved to 2023

Next year’s FIFA men’s Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia and Under-17 tournament in Peru have been moved to 2023 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, football’s world governing body said on Thursday.

“The Covid-19 pandemic continues to present challenges for the hosting of international sporting events and to have a restrictive effect on international travel,” FIFA said in a statement.

"FIFA has therefore regularly consulted the relevant stakeholders, including the host member associations as well as the confederations involved in both tournaments originally scheduled to take place in 2021.

"In doing so, it became clear that the global situation has failed to normalize to a sufficient level to address the challenges associated with hosting both tournaments, including the feasibility of the relevant qualification pathways.

“FIFA would like to express its gratitude to the host member associations, as well as the authorities in Indonesia and Peru, for their commitment and the tournament preparations made so far.”

The decision follows on the heels of the global body’s call to cancel the women’s U17 World Cup scheduled to be held in 2020 (postponed to 2021) in India. India were awarded the hosting rights for the 2022 edition. The loss of these multiple age group tournaments is massive for age group players in developing nations, for whom such events were a showcase for their talents. A lack of game time, stage time may end up hurting their futures more than anything else.

Scott Parker in Self Isolation

Fulham boss Scott Parker will not take charge of his team's Boxing Day game with Southampton after someone in his household tested positive for Covid-19. Parker, 40, tested negative but has been self-isolating this week.

Assistant manager Stuart Gray and first-team coach Matt Wells will take charge of the team on Saturday. Provided he returns a further negative result, Parker will return to the dugout for Fulham's trip to Tottenham Hotspur on December 30.

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Parker said he would still be in touch with his team while he watches the Saints game on a laptop. 

“I’ll be in constant dialogue and I’ll have a main line with the dugout,” Parker told reporters. “I’ll have a laptop up with different screens showing different angles. No doubt I’ve got great coaches and a great staff who will take the reins.

“The lockdown period gave us some ideas on how to coach remotely but this is a little bit different as we are in competition,” he added.

“I’m still putting in the same input but I’m just not out on the grass with them. The world we are living in has taught us different ways to make the most of a bad situation and I will be doing all I can from home.”

Fulham, who Parker guided to promotion last season through the Championship play-offs, are third bottom after earning 10 points from their opening 14 matches.

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