India skipper MS DHONI has been hired as vice president of India Cements, "a company owned by Indian cricket's most powerful man." The move "cements Dhoni's bond" with Board of Control for Cricket in India President N SRINIVASAN, who is also owner of the India Cements-owned Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings, which is lead by Dhoni (TIMES OF INDIA, 1/2). ... Tokyo 2020 appointed marketing and communications expert HISAO SHUTO as the bid committee's int'l communications director. Shuto brings nearly three decades of sport and communications experience, including 12 years in Japanese football (Tokyo 2020).
COACHES/MANAGERS: Serie A Roma announced coach ZDENEK ZEMAN has been relieved of his duties as first-team coach. Assistant coach AURELIO ANDREAZZOLI has been named as the interim manager (AS Roma). ... League One Oldham Manager PAUL DICKOV has resigned after Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Walsall. The 40-year-old former Scotland int'l "has been under pressure at Boundary Park." Additionally, League One Notts County sacked coach KEITH CURLE after a 2-1 defeat at Hartlepool (SUNDAY TIMES, 2/3). ... Swimming coach BILL FURNISS "will be appointed Britain’s permanent head coach" on Monday. Furniss previously coached double Olympic champion REBECCA ADLINGTON, who is expected to retire from the pool this week. Furniss is "the first Briton to hold the post," though he led the Olympic team in Barcelona in '92, when staff roles were filled for only three weeks every four years (SUNDAY TIMES, 2/3).
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Scottish Premier League Celtic "may have an unusual mascot for their Champions League showdown with Juventus next week -- the hip hop megastar" SNOOP DOGG. The rapper, who now goes by Snoop Lion after his conversion to Rastafarianism, "is absolutely desperate to get a ticket for the big first leg match" on Feb. 12. He said, "It's the one I need to go to. It's the game we've been waiting for. I need tickets, but I want to walk out with the team like a little kid with the banner. Yes, yes, make it happen" (London DAILY MAIL, 2/3). ... Australian Cricket greats GLENN MCGRATH and CHARLIE TURNER, two fast bowlers separated by more than a century of competition, were unanimously inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame (AFP, 2/3). ... Brasileiro club Atlético-MG President ALEXANDRE KALIL has announced the signing of striker DIEGO TARDELLI (LANCE PRESS, 2/3). ... F1 team Caterham "has appointed Dutch driver GIEDO VAN DER GARDE as its second driver for the '13 season." The 27-year-old former test driver "will become the new teammate of French driver CHARLES PIC" (SID, 2/1). ... The Asian Football Confederation Exec Committee nominated Australia's MOYA DODD as a candidate for the FIFA Exec Committee position of women's football representative. Moya is currently an AFC VP, AFC Women's Committee chair, Football Federation Australia director and a former Matildas vice captain (FFA).
IN MEMORY: Tributes have been paid "after the sudden death of respected radio commentator" DAVID OATES at the age of 50. Oates, who worked for the BBC for more than 25 years, died in the hospital on Sunday "following a short illness." He was "best known for football and rugby league commentaries," as he was a "lifelong Blackpool FC supporter and a keen runner" (BBC, 2/3). ... Former South African Rugby Union President LOUIS LUYT died at the age of 80. He "died at his home outside Durban on South Africa's east coast after a long illness." Luyt had presided over the return of the Springboks, the national rugby union team, to int'l rugby and their victory at the 1995 World Cup (AP, 2/2).
FINISHING NO. 1: IOC President JACQUES ROGGE "received the Cheongryong (blue dragon) medal, the highest state honor given to sports-related people" in South Korea, by President LEE MYUNG-BAK at Cheong Wa Dae for his contributions to the Olympic movement (KOREA TIMES, 2/1). ... Austrian ski jumper GREGOR SCHLIERENZAUER "won both ski-flying events on Sunday in Harrachov, Czech Republic and set a new record of 48 world cup victories." The 23-year-old "passed Finnish legend MATTI NYKÄNEN on Sunday morning with world cup victory No. 47 and added another one in the afternoon" (KURIER, 2/3).
Retired Norwegian footballer & broadcast analyst JAN AAGE FJORTOFT: "Stats in German media about retired players 90 % want to stay in football 25 % permanent unemployed 10 % can live on savings @StanCollymore"
German pay-TV network SKY DEUTSCHLAND: "Jetzt geht's los: Christina Grafs Debüt als erste Frau, die live im Fernsehen ein Bundesliga-Spiel kommentiert: Regensburg - Berlin auf #Sky" ... ("Let's go: Christina Grafs makes her debut as the first woman who live commentates a Bundesliga game on TV: Regensburg - Berlin on #Sky")
NFL European Dir of Pulic Affairs DAVID TOSSELL: "Glad to see NFL trending on UK twitter four hours before kickoff #SB47"
Synergy CEO TIM CROW: "Brilliant by Italy. What a fantastic first #RBS6Nations weekend. The world's greatest rugby tournament exerts its magic once again."
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