UAE Football Association President YOUSUF AL-SERKAL believes DIEGO MARADONA "should have been given more time" to turn around his Al Wasl club, according to the AP. Al-Sarkal said that "one year was not enough to elevate the Dubai club" and that the club's "failure to win any trophies and its eighth-place finish in the 12-team league cannot be solely blamed on Maradona." He acknowledged that Maradona "often hurt himself with his antics off the field." Among the incidents, Maradona kicked the hand of a fan, was accused by a coach of being disrespectful for the way he celebrated a goal and charged into the stands to confront Al Shabab fans who were "taunting his partner" and the wives of several players. During the last incident he had "to be restrained by security staff" (AP, 7/11). GLOBO ESPORTE reported that Maradona learned of his dismissal from the club "through the Internet" (GLOBO ESPORTE, 7/11).
People and Pop Culture
Russian-Finnish businessman GENNADY TIMCHENKO has been elected the new Chair of the Board of the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League. Timchenko is also Chair of the Board for St. Petersburg-based hockey team SKA, which plays in the KHL (KHL).
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PELE is the "King of Football," but he "loves to show his talents in other areas." In a commercial created by the marketing department of his former club Santos FC, Pele was a pizza delivery man. Pele said: "I have done deliveries before, but with pizza it was the first time and look at how nice a pizza it is, with chicken and cheese. Look it's perfect" (GLOBO ESPORTE, 7/10). ... He was "born in France, lives in Belgium," is married to an American and speaks Portuguese with an accent, but RODRIGO PESSOA is Brazil's flag bearer at the London Games. The "greatest equestrian in the history of the country" won the individual gold medal in the 2004 Athens Games (UOL.com.br, 7/11). ... Global advertising agency WPP Group CEO MARTIN SORRELL accepted an invitation from the IOC to "be a torch bearer for the Olympic Flame" in the London Borough of Redbridge. Sorrell is "scheduled to become one of the 32 torch bearers" in Redbridge, in the northeast of the capital on July 22 (CAMPAIGNLIVE.co.uk, 7/10).