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Martino quits as coach

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has added his resignation to that of captain Lionel Messi’s, citing a leadership vacuum that was posing problems in picking a team for next month’s Olympics.

Martino, whose senior side lost the Copa America Centenario final 10 days ago, said he was quitting over a lack of support from the cash-strapped Argentine FA (AFA) in preparing an 18-man squad for the Rio de Janeiro Games.

“Owing to the lack of decisions in … the Argentine Football Association and serious problems in choosing the squad to represent the country at the upcoming Olympic Games, the national team’s coaching staff has decided to present its resignation,” said an AFA statement on Tuesday.

Martino was due to start work with the under-23 Olympic squad on Monday but found he had only a dozen footballers after leading clubs like River Plate and Boca Juniors refused to release their players.

He had already suffered the disappointment of a second successive defeat on penalties by Chile in the final of the Copa America held in the United States that marked the centenary of the tournament.

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