Veteran Belfast-based award-winning sports journalist MALCOLM BRODIE, who covered every World Cup since '54, "has died at the age of 86," according to Henry McDonald of the London GUARDIAN. Brodie was the author of an "acclaimed book on the now defunct Belfast Celtic and was a respected football commentator" on the int'l scene. Belfast Telegraph Group Sports Editor JIM GRACEY, where Brodie worked since the end of the second world war, said: "He was a wonderful man and a wonderful journalist who must have taught generations of sports reporters, myself included. He had a contacts book like no other. Everybody in soccer -- from Pele to Sir Alex Ferguson -- knew him. The man was beyond a legend." Brodie was also a "regular sports broadcaster and became a household name during Northern Ireland's travels" to the World Cup, first in '58 and later in Spain in '82 and Mexico four years later (GUARDIAN, 1/30). FIFA President SEPP BLATTER said, "Quality sports reporting is essential to sports organizations such as FIFA, thanks to its ability to transmit all the color and emotions of major competitions such as the FIFA World Cup to the fans back home. There was none better at this than Malcolm" (UEFA).
A 'GREAT FRIEND': The BELFAST TELEGRAPH noted ManU Manager ALEX FERGUSON said that he "knew Brodie for 40 years." Ferguson said, "He's nothing but a great friend and always good value in terms of opinion. He cut to the chase, quite simply that's who he was -- straight talking." FIFA VP JIM BOYCE said that he "would miss him dearly." Boyce said, "He was the doyen of Northern Ireland football, a very, very trusted journalist and his main aim in life was to promote football" (BELFAST TELEGRAPH, 1/30).
The Rugby Football League has turned to former FA CEO BRIAN BARWICK to become its non-exec chairman. Barwick takes over for former ManU Dir MAURICE WATKINS, who stood in as interim chairman following the departure to the All England Club of RICHARD LEWIS. Barwick will take his post on Friday (PA, 1/30). ... San Marino Football Federation (FSGC) President GIORGIO CRESCENTINI has been re-elected for an eighth successive four-year term (UEFA).
COACHES/MANAGERS: La Liga club Granada FC has appointed LUCAS ALCARAZ as its head coach. He replaces JUAN ANTONIO ANQUELA (EFE, 1/30). ... The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has announced ALEXANDRE GALLO as the coach of the U20 national team (CBF). ... Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart has signed a two-year contract extension with coach BRUNO LABBADIA to '15 and "sealed long-term deals with five players in the winter break" (REUTERS, 1/30).
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Former F1 world champion JACQUES VILLENEUVE "will become a broadcast analyst for Italian channel Sky Italia" (MOTORSPORT TOTAL, 1/30). ... Spaniard RAFAEL NADAL and Argentinian DAVID NALBANDIAN will team up for doubles at the Brasil Open, which begins in São Paulo on Feb. 11 (IG, 1/30). ... Head of Arsenal's youth academy LIAM BRADY "will step down" by May '14. Arsenal said that it will be discussing other potential roles with the 56-year-old former Arsenal midfielder and Ireland int'l to "ensure he continues his involvement with the club" (REUTERS, 1/30). ... Former MLB player PARK CHAN-HO will join exclusive South Korean broadcaster JTBC for all 39 World Baseball Classic games as a commentator. JTBC said that Park will be in the broadcast booth for South Korea’s games along with SONG JAE-WOO, who is "known for his knowledge" of MLB (KOREA JOONGANG DAILY, 1/31).
Reuters' ALAN BALDWIN: "A lot of talk about the German GP. My understanding is that it will be Nuerburgring as planned and announcement any day now."
London Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "Not bad. Shame about sponsors logos RT @FIFAcom: The Official Poster for Brazil 2014 has just been unveiled!"
Payne Sports Media Strategies CEO & Chair MICHAEL PAYNE: "#pyeongchang2018 will be seriously challenged though to beat #sochi2014 marketing revenues where partners paying $100/250m each."
South China Morning Post's JAMES PORTEOUS: "Hm, Shanghai Shenhua say Drogba is still under contract and Galatsaray deal is invalid. Posturing?"
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