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SOC—CRYSTAL PALACE-HODGSON

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Roy Hodgson, the oldest ever manager in the English Premier League at age 76, leaves Crystal Palace just days after falling ill during a training session amid widespread reports he was about to be replaced. The former England coach says he resigns so Palace could bring forward its plans to appoint a new manager. Hours later, the club hires Austrian coach Oliver Glasner. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 580 words, photos.

Also:

SOC—ENGLISH ROUNDUP: New Crystal Palace coach Oliver Glasner watches from the sidelines as his side is denied a win at Everton by a late equalizer in the English Premier League. SENT: 300 words, photos.

SOC—NAPOLI-COACH

NAPLES, Italy — Still struggling in Serie A, defending champion Napoli made its second coaching change of the season just two days before facing Barcelona in the Champions League. Napoli fired Walter Mazzarri and appointed Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona, who was the former assistant at the Serie A team but has never managed at club level. SENT: 450 words, photos.

SOC—HONG KONG-MESSI

HONG KONG — Lionel Messi has made another conciliatory gesture to fans in Hong Kong and mainland China by insisting there were no political reasons behind his decision to sit out a club friendly this month. By Kanis Leung. SENT: 500 words, photos.

CRI—ENGLAND-McCULLUM

RAJKOT, India — Questions have again been raised about the merits of Bazball, the attacking, front-foot style preferred by coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes in the wake of England’s 434-run loss to India in the third test. Yet McCullum isn’t for changing as England still has a chance of winning the five-match series at 2-1 down. He says, “The positivity and confidence within the environment needs to remain.” SENT: 500 words, photos.

CRI—SRI LANKA-AFGHANISTAN

DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka bowls out Afghanistan for 115 to win their Twenty20 by 72 runs and clinch the series. Angelo Mathews stars with a brisk unbeaten 42 then both opening wickets. SENT: 240 words.

BKN–NBA-SCORING SPREE

INDIANAPOLIS — With the NBA on pace for more points per game than at any time in the last half-century, it begs the question if scoring is just too easy in this era. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

Questions and story requests are welcome. Contact your local AP bureau or the AP International Sports Desk in London by email at [email protected]

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