Names In The News
Former Argentina football player DIEGO MARADONA "has reiterated his desire to coach in China" after arriving in Beijing Monday for an eight-day charity trip. The series of charity events will include an auction on Saturday, where the proceeds will be donated for the development of youth soccer in China. Maradona will also meet with Chinese Football Association Chief WEI DI (CHINA DAILY, 8/14). ... NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN has been awarded the Olympic Order by the IOC. He was presented the honor during halftime of Sunday's men's Olympic basketball final by IOC President JACQUES ROGGE, who attended the final in the North Greenwich Arena (NBA). ... Former Asian Football Confederation President MOHAMED BIN HAMMAM "intends to fight to clear his name" after FIFA opened investigation proceedings against him over alleged financial mismanagement (BBC, 8/14).
A 'DEVIL' OF A TIME: Chinese Super League Shanghai Shenhua DIDIER DROGBA's first month in China is being "heralded as an unequivocal success." He has earned "rave reviews," the moniker "Devil Beast" and the comparison to "a nuclear bomb" (AFP, 8/14). ... The Board of Cricket Control in India said that Tuesday's death of Union Minister and Mumbai Cricket Association President VILASRAO DESHMUKH "was a big loss." Deshmukh was also BCCI Media Committee Chair (PTI, 8/14). Melbourne-based action sports brand Madd Gear announced that BMX rider JAMES FOSTER has been named Team Manager of the new Madd Gear USA BMX team. In his new role, Foster will lead and help to build Team Madd Gear USA BMX (Madd Gear). ... India national hockey team former captain DHANRAJ PILLAY said that he was "appalled by the dismal performance" of the team in the London Games, where the eight-time champions finished their group campaign with an all-loss record. Pillay "expressed his keen desire to join the administration of the sport" (PTI, 8/9). ZINEDINE ZIDANE "will give individual classes to the Castilla and Real Madrid select" while completing his training for the next step in his professional career to become a coach (MARCA, 8/13).
TRIUMPHANT RETURN: PELE and his Brazilian teammates from the 1958 World Cup winning squad "returned to the stadium where they rose to world prominence." The 5-2 win over Sweden in the Rasunda stadium in Stockholm set Brazil on the road to five World Cups and "saw the country's football team go from virtual unknowns to international football stars." Pele said, "The biggest memory of being here is that Brazil was unknown until we won the World Cup" (SCOTSMAN, 8/14). ... Scottish Institute of Sport CEO MIKE WHITTINGHAM "revelled in the joy of the London Olympics" and is already focused on maintaining the feelgood factor all the way to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Whittingham said, "We are entering the next two years with a ‘can do’ attitude and getting rid of the negativity to help our sportsmen and women, as well as society, deliver" (DAILY RECORD, 8/14). ... Scottish Second Division Queens Park skipper RICKY LITTLE has been charged by the Scottish FA for making "comments of a threatening nature" on Facebook. A newspaper report claimed that the defender "had used the social networking site to say he would injure Rangers players" (BBC, 8/14). ... LIONEL MESSI is among three finalists for the UEFA Best Player in Europe award. His Barça teammate ANDRÉS INIESTA and Real Madrid's CRISTIANO RONALDO are the others (THEJOURNAL.ie, 8/14). ... Chelsea captain JOHN TERRY "will be able to play from the start of the Champions League campaign" after his three-match ban was reduced on appeal by UEFA (AFP, 8/13).