Premiership rugby club Sale Sharks have sacked Social Media Exec HOLLEH NOWROUZ "for posting derogatory comments about the club's supporters on her Facebook page." She was dismissed by CEO STEVE DIAMOND following a "stringent disciplinary review." Nowrouz's remarks were posted in October "but only came to light last week." The posts included references to fans "using swear words" (BBC, 12/24). ... Bundesliga club SV Werder Bremen has hired former footballer and ice hockey manager THOMAS EICHIN as its sports director. Eichin was "officially presented" on Thursday, taking over the position from KLAUS ALLOFS who left in the spring (AP, 12/27). ... Former Real Madrid and Barcelona coach RADOMIR ANTIC has signed a two-year contract to take over at Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng. No financial details were released, "but it was rumoured that Antic's deal was worth at least €2M ($2.6M)" (XINHUA, 12/27). ... Former Ukrainian Premier League club Metalist Kharkiv coach MIKHAIL FOMENKO "has been chosen over former England coach SVEN GÖRAN ERIKSSON to revive Ukraine's ailing 2014 World Cup finals qualifying campaign" after a meeting of the Football Federation of Ukraine (AFP, 12/27).
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Canadian national team captain CHRISTINE SINCLAIR won the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as the Canadian Press female athlete of '12 (CP, 12/27). ... Two-time Olympic champion Soviet weightlifter ARKADY VOROBIEV "has died at the age of 88" (RIA NOVOSTI, 12/24). ... Some of the "biggest names in world football have arrived" in Dubai, UAE to participate in the 7th Dubai Int'l Sports Conference, which begins on Friday. The "highlight of day one of the two-day conference is likely to be the late panel session" involving Read Madrid Manager JOSÉ MOURINHO and Argentinian DIEGO MARADONA. Other "big names due to speak" at the Dubai Sports Council-organized conference include Italian management trio FABIO CAPELLO, WALTER ZENGA and ALBERTO ZACCHERONI; Atlético Madrid striker RADAMEL FALCAO; Barcelona defender ERIC ABIDAL; and UEFA President MICHEL PLATINI (GULF NEWS, 12/27). ... Former NBA star TRACY MCGRADY sent everyone on his Chinese Basketball Association Qingdao Eagles team a Beats Audio headset, transported from the U.S., as Christmas presents on Tuesday, "thanking for their care and support since he joined the team" (XINHUA, 12/26).
Real Madrid forward CRISTIANO RONALDO: "The author of the most retweeted post from that 15 replies will be followed by me for 24 hours #Celebrate15M"
Arsenal FC writer NICK AMES: "Being followed by a footballer for 24 hours on Twitter is now a “prize”? This is what we've sunk to?"
BBC presenter GARY LINEKER: "Never ceases to amaze me that some fans from every club think I hate their team. I am not a 12 year old, I am doing my job."
Yahoo!'s VENKAT ANANTH: "The Venky's had a great chance to redeem themselves after Kean's going. They've messed it up further by sacking Henning Berg and Co. Fail."
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