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Volume 6 No. 212
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Names In The News

EPL Queen's Park Rangers Chair TONY FERNANDES has "once again insisted" that he will not be firing coach MARK HUGHES, despite a "dreadful start to the season" in which the club is yet to register a win (London INDEPENDENT, 11/5). ... Russian Football Union (RFS) President NIKOLAI TOLSTYKH visited the House of European football in Nyon, Switzerland. He met UEFA President MICHEL PLATINI and UEFA officials for discussions on football in Russia, as well as the relationship between the Russian association and European football's governing body (UEFA). ... Former Super League rugby player KEITH ASHCROFT died at the age of 72. Ashcroft played for Wigan between '68 and '70. More recently he was on the committee of the club's Past Player's Association (London DAILY MAIL, 11/5). .... Tour de France champion BRADLEY WIGGINS "is set to take part in this year's Dubai Rugby Sevens -- as a water carrie." As a Wigan Warriors fan, he will be "supporting the Joining Jack fund-raising team taking part in the int'l veterans section of the event," which runs from Nov. 29-Dec. 1 (PA, 11/5).

HOT SELLER: Adidas said that the home jersey of NBA Houston Rockets player JEREMY LIN "officially went on sale around Taiwan." More than 80 stores in Taiwan launched jersey sales "to coincide with the new season" that started Wednesday (CNA, 11/4). ... The world's top men's singles players and doubles teams, including NOVAK DJOKOVIC, ROGER FEDERER, ANDY MURRAY and BOB and MIKE BRYAN, attended on Saturday the official Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Gala at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The event, supported by champagne brand Moët & Chandon, raised more than £400,000 ($639,000) for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity (ATP). ... Swiss National League A club ZSC Lions "signed NHL L.A. Kings forward DUSTIN BROWN for the duration of the lockout" (, 11/5). ... German tennis players TOMMY HAAS has been voted the ATP Comeback Player of the Year for the second time in his career (, 11/5). ... Referee MARK CLATTENBURG has been "overlooked for another weekend" of EPL matches as a result of Chelsea’s allegations that he racially abused JOHN OBI MIKEL (LONDON TIMES, 11/5).

New Zealand PM JOHN KEY has become "embroiled in a media row" amid allegations that he called DAVID BECKHAM "thick." Key was reported to have said the footballer was "thick as bat shit" on a recent visit to a school in Auckland. While discussing an exhibition match between Beckham's L.A. Galaxy and the Oceania All-Stars, which took place in '08, he is said to have described the former England captain as handsome and "a really nice guy" before adding the offending remark (PA, 11/5). The AFP reported that Key "insisted he did not owe" Beckham an apology. The PM refused to confirm or deny making the comment Monday and told talkback radio he did not owe anyone an apology, "suggesting the conversation may have been misheard" (AFP, 11/5).

AWARD CANDIDATES: The Confederations of African Football revealed last year's African Footballer of the Year award winner YAYA TOURE heads a list of candidates for this year's award, which will be announced next month. Toure is joined by fellow Ivory Coast internationals DIDIER DROGBA and GERVINHO on the 10-man shortlist (REUTERS, 11/5). ... USAIN BOLT headlines the shortlist for the 2012 Int'l Association of Athletics Federations Male Athlete of the Year award, but "there is no place" for double Olympic champion MO FARAH. American 110m hurdler ARIES MERRITT and Kenyan middle distance runner DAVID RUDISHA "are also in contention" (London TELEGRAPH, 11/5).