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Volume 6 No. 217

People and Pop Culture

The Zambian FA is "launching a bid" to have Zambia's GODFREY CHITALU's 107-goal season "officially recorded" after Barcelona striker LIONEL MESSI was recognized last week for scoring the most goals in a calendar year, according to Simon Rice of the London INDEPENDENT. Messi has been "lauded across the world" as he overtook GERD MÜLLER's 40-year-old record for the most goals scored in a calendar year. Messi recently scored his 86th goal this year, one more than the 85 scored by Müller in '72. However, according to the Zambian FA, the record was never Muller's to be broken. The Zambian FA said that Chitalu, who played for the Kabwe Warriors, scored 107 goals, also in '72. The five-time Zambian player of the year's feat was never officially recognized by FIFA. If the Zambian FA's bid to have Chitalu's mark is successful, it would mean Messi needs another 22 goals before the end of the year. With just three games to do it in, "even for arguably the most gifted player of all time, it might prove a struggle" (INDEPENDENT, 12/12).

La Liga club Espanyol has hired ÓSCAR PERARNAU as its sporting director. Perarnau replaces RAMÓN PLANES (EFE, 12/12). ... Renault "has appointed ARNAUD BOULANGER as motorsport director of its sports department." The French native "replaces JEAN-PASCAL DAUCE who will move to Alpine Caterham, which is the joint venture of Renault and Caterham Owner TONY FERNANDES" (MOTORSPORT TOTAL, 12/11). ... Puma CEO FRANZ KOCH will step down at the end of March. He will also step down as a member of the Group Exec Committee of PPR SA, the main shareholder of Puma SE (Puma). ... The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India re-elected President VICKY CHANDHOK at its 39th Annual General Meeting. The FMSCI Council "also decided on the continuation" of Chair VIJAY MALLAYA and VP BHARAT RAJ for the '12-13 year (THE HINDU, 12/12). ... Former ManU Dir MAURICE WATKINS has been appointed as the chairman of British Swimming and will lead the sport into the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics (British Swimming). ... The Lawn Tennis Association has appointed DAVID GREGSON as independent chairman of the LTA Board. The appointment was approved at a special meeting of the LTA Council on Wednesday. David is the chairman of the Precise Media Group, and of CRI, a leading U.K. health and social care charity (LTA).

Brasileiro club Internacional confirmed it has hired former Brazilian national team coach DUNGA as its head coach (UOL, 12/12). ... Argentina club Boca Juniors President DANIEL ANGELICI confirmed the club has decided not to renew the contract of coach JULIO FALCIONI (CLARIN, 12/10). ... Spanish second division club Racing Santander has hired JOSÉ AURELIO GAY as its head coach (AS, 12/12). ... Chinese Super League club Dalian Aerbin has appointed XU HONG as its manager. He reportedly signed a three-year deal "for an undisclosed amount." Xu is a Chinese int'l and former CSL Dalian Wanda (now Dalian Shide) player (WILD EAST FOOTBALL, 12/12). ... The German Basketball Federation (DBB) appointed ALEXANDRA MAERZ as head coach of the women's national team. The 40-year-old will assume his new position with immediate effect (DBB). ... K-League club Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors interim head coach LEE HEUNG-SIL has resigned after one season. Lee took over the club in December when incumbent CHOI KANG-HEE was named head coach of the South Korean national team. A Jeonbuk official said that Lee resigned because he "wanted to make way for Choi to return next year." Senior assistant coach CHO SUNG-HWAN will act as interim head coach until Choi's return (YONHAP, 12/12). ... Argentine Primera División Boca Juniors coach JULIO CESAR FALCIONI "has effectively paid the price for his row with JUAN ROMAN RIQUELME and has left the club with immediate effect" (ESPN, 12/11).

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The 2012 Human Rights Medal has been awarded to IAN THORPE for fighting for better services for Indigenous children in remote communities across Australia. For more than a decade, Thorpe has worked with Indigenous people through his Fountain for Youth charity, which works with 21 remote communities in the Northern Territory (Australian Human Rights Commission). ... F1 veteran and 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series rookie RUBENS BARRICHELLO "has accepted an offer to race full time" in the Brazilian Stock Car series in '13 (SPEED, 12/11). ...  British and Irish Lions coach WARREN GATLAND "named ROB HOWLEY, GRAHAM ROWNTREE and ANDY FARRELL on Wednesday as his assistants for next year's tour of Australia" (REUTERS, 12/12). ... Colombia honored Olympic Gold Medalist MARIANA PAJON and football player RADAMEL FALCAO GARCIA. Pajon "received Colombia's Best Athlete Award for 2012, while Falcao was named 2012's Person of the Year." The second best athlete of the year went to Olympian CATHERINE IBARGUEN, who won Silver in the triple jump, as well as to Paralympic Silver Medal winners ELKIN SERNA in the marathon and and swimmer MOISES FUENTES in the 100m breast stroke (IANS, 12/12). ... The board of New Zealand Cricket "apologized to ROSS TAYLOR on Wednesday for the way in which he was fired as national captain, but ruled out his reinstatement." NZC Board Chair CHRIS MOLLER "made the apology at a news conference in Wellington" (AP, 12/12). ... EPL Tottenham billionaire Owner JOE LEWIS has "become an influential figure in the racing world" after taking control of holding company Timeweave, which owns 50% of betting shop broadcasters Turf TV. Bahamas-based Lewis has yet to attend a Tottenham game this season, and his investment in Timeweave is "for business reasons rather than any great love of racing" (London DAILY MAIL, 12/11).

Payne Sports Media Strategies CEO & Chair MICHAEL PAYNE: "#Pyeongchang - Korean press starting to already question Olympic legacy - with Alpensia resort facing bankruptcy & many venues to be built!" ... "#Pyeongchang - when bidding committee told IOC of $60 billion economic benefit from hosting - has Korean economy tanked in just 12 months ?"

BBC's DAVID BOND: "Locog and G4S can't agree on final settlement with Locog saying they won't pay anything if services aren't delivered. Ouch"

Tennis Paralympian JON RYDBERG: "Top trending subject on Twitter in the UK in 2012....the Paralympics! Yes, that means it beat out the Olympics and all the football clubs"

London Telegraph's PAUL KELSO: "New LTA chair David Gregson not familiar name in sport but CV suggests he is approved choice of permanently embattled CEO Roger Draper"

London Times' TONY BARRETT: "Liverpool have now made as many apologies over the last 12 months (six) as they have home wins in the same period. Equilibrium."

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