Former England Manager SVEN-GÖRAN ERIKSSON is the new technical director of UAE club Al Nasr, "after rejecting an offer to join the staff of German second division club 1860 Munich." Al Nasr spokesperson MOHAMMED MUBARAK said that Eriksson had accepted the post, but would give no details about the contract (SUNDAY TIMES, 1/20). ... Williams F1 team shareholder TOTO WOLFF "will be taking over NORBERT HAUG’s role as motorsport director of Mercedes." Haug, who stepped down in December after 22 years with Mercedes, ''was in charge of Mercedes' F1, German Touring Car Championship (DTM) and Formula 3 programs" (BILD, 1/20). ... Hockey India has appointed the "seasoned and highly successful" former Dutch field hockey coach ROELANT OLTMANS as high performance director, "a step to chalk out a strategic program for the senior and junior teams, both men and women" (EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE, 1/18). Oltmans will "oversee the sport in India until the 2016 Rio Olympics" (THE HINDU, 1/17).
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LIONEL MESSI has donated €152,000 ($202,000) to his hometown of Rosario, Argentina to "remodel a sporting complex" (LE PARISIEN, 1/19). ... The Int'l Ice Hockey Federation has nominated four German officials for the 2013 IIHF World Championship, which takes place in Sweden and Finland from May 3-19. DANIEL PIECHACZEK and LARS BRÜGGEMANN will function as referees, while SIRKO HUNNIUS and ANDRE SCHRADER will function as linesmen (DEL). ... French skier JOHAN CLAREY "has set a new World Cup speed record of 161.9 kph (100.6 mph) at the Lauberhorn downhill race in Wengen, Switzerland" (FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, 1/20). ... Two-time MotoGP champion CASEY STONER has confirmed he will "make the move to four wheels" to race a V8 Supercar this season. He will make his debut in the second-tier development series at the Adelaide 500 on Febr. 28. Stoner said, "It was always my plan during my whole career to drive a V8" (AAP, 1/21). ... Sheikh MOHAMMAD BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM ordered the payment of Dh50 million ($13.6M) as a bonus to the members of the UAE national football team "in appreciation to their achievement of winning the 21st Gulf Cup championship" (WAM, 1/20). ... Sheikh MOHAMMED and GODOLPHIN enjoyed a "night of huge success" on Saturday in Florida when they landed three Eclipse Awards. Godolphin was named outstanding U.S. owner for the second time, having landed the award for the first time in '09 (RACING POST, 1/20). ... Chinese swimmers SUN YANG and YE SHIWEN won the Best Athlete Awards at the 2012 CCTV Sports Personality Awards on Saturday. Chinese swimming team head coach YAO ZHENGJIE "was named the Best Coach of the year." Badminton men's doubles Olympic champion CAI YUN and FU HAIFENG "retained their title as the Best Pair while men's 20km walk Olympic champion CHEN DING was the winner of the Best Rookie" (XINHUA, 1/20).
IN THE U.K.: Great Britain cycling team head coach SHANE SUTTON has stepped aside from his role as head coach at Team Sky to "take on a consultancy role alongside his GB commitments." British Cycling "dismissed reports" that he would also be stepping aside from his role with Great Britain (PA, 1/18). ... British diver TOM DALEY "could be forced to find a new platform synchro partner" after his London Olympics teammate PETER WATERFIELD had his U.K. Sport funding cut. Waterfield is set to "walk away from a long career" after learning that British Swimming would no longer financially support him from April. Waterfield said, "It's pointless [to continue]. I have to pay a mortgage, I have two kids to feed as well as a car to run. I struggle anyway" (London GUARDIAN, 1/18).
FIFA President SEPP BLATTER: "Sanctions against discriminatory acts must be very severe. We will discuss this at next Strategic Committee in 3 weeks"
CNN Host PIERS MORGAN: "Please, Arsene, just shut up about how much 'quality and spirit' we have. We lost, we're 6th, and we're going backwards."
ManU's RIO FERDINAND: "Hard game....would have took a draw before game. Stone wall penalty not given for us tho!!! We don't get all the decisions like every1 says!"
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