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Volume 10 No. 22

People and Pop Culture

German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich has hired MATTHIAS SAMMER as the team's Board Dir Responsible for Professional Players, and released GM CHRISTIAN NERLINGER, according to the DPA. The German record champion comes off a disappointing season with a second place finish in the league and the league cup, as well as a Champions League final loss to Chelsea in its home stadium. The club cited "differences in opinion in regards to the future of the team" as the reason for the personnel change. Sammer resigned from his position as the German Football Federation's Technical Dir and took on his new assignment on Tuesday (DPA, 7/2).

The Championship league Watford FC owner GIAMPAOLO POZZO announced GIANFRANCO ZOLA will become the new manager of Watford. Pozzo, also the owner of Serie A club Udinese and La Liga club Granada, "completed the takeover" of Watford last week from LAURENCE BASSINI. Zola has been out of work since he was dismissed in '10 as West Ham Manager (London INDEPENDENT, 7/2). ... The German Table Tennis Bundesliga unanimously appointed NICO STEHLE as new league Exec Dir. The 31-year-old Stehle succeeds CLAUS-DIETER SCHAD (SID, 7/2).

Turkish football club Fenerbahce Istanbul President AZIZ YILDERIM was convicted of “match-fixing and founding of an illegal organization” and sentenced to six years and three months in jail (SID, 7/2). ... English Championship club Nottingham Forest FC announced on its homepage that the club has agreed to acquisition talks with Kuwait businessmen FAWAZ, ABDULAZIZ  and OMAR AL-HASAWI (SID, 7/2). ... UAE rally legend and VP of motorsports' governing body FIA MOHAMMAD BIN SULAYEM will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University Ulster in recognition of his services to sport, civic leadership and charity at a graduation ceremony in Belfast, U.K., on Friday. UAE Ambassador to the U.K. ABDUL RAHMAN GANEM AL MUTAIWE'E and UAE Ambassador to Ireland KHALID NASSER RASHID LOOTAH will accompany Sulayem to the awards ceremony (GULF NEWS, 7/2). ... Five-time boxing world champion MC MARY KOM is "set to become the first Indian woman and the fifth sportsperson overall" to hold an honorary rank in the country's defense forces as she will be made a Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army. Mary Kom will join cricketers MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI, SACHIN TENDULKAR, KAPIL DEV and Olympic gold-medalist shooter ABHINAV BINDRA "to be given honorary ranks by the country's defense forces" (PTI, 7/2). ... Chinese Super League Guangzhou Evergrande FC has announced the signing of South Korean int'l KIM YOUNG-GWON from J-League division 1 Omiya Ardija. The 22-year-old will join the defending CSL champions on a four-year contract for a transfer fee of €2M ($2.5M), "making him by far the highest-priced departure from the J-League" this season (, 7/2).