Football Federation Australia announced that Major League Soccer Senior Dir of Partnership Marketing RUSSELL SARGEANT has been named A-League GM of operations. He will report to A-League Head DAMIEN DE BOHUN, and will lead the FFA League Operations team, while also managing league competition administration and services. Sargeant will begin his role in March (FFA). ... Sky News has appointed the London Daily Telegraph's Chief Sports Reporter PAUL KELSO as its sports correspondent. Kelso held is role at the London paper for the last four years (Sky News). ... India marketing company Percept Sports & Entertainment has appointed Team Colgate at Bates India Managing Dir SAVIO SEQUEIRA as CEO. Sequeira will provide strategic direction, create integration opportunities and direct the company's overall business. Sequeira has also worked with organizations including Young and Rubicam, Colgate Int'l Team and Edge Communications (Percept).
COACHES/MANAGERS: Austrian second-tier football club SCR Altach Monday "terminated its contract" with head coach RAINER SCHARINGER. Scharinger "had been on administrative leave since Jan. 4." Scharinger "was succeeded by DAMIR CANADI who took over the team on Jan. 7" (KURIER, 2/11).
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A-League Sydney FC player ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO "is likely to remain" with the team next season and "could sign a new deal with the club as early as next week." The Italian's agent and brother STEFANO "arrives in Sydney at the end of the week and will meet with the club days later to discuss a new one-year deal with the Sky Blues" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 2/13). ... FC Barcelona players LIONEL MESSI and XAVI HERNANDEZ took advantage of their day off Monday to travel to France and visit youth players of Olympique de Neuilly's academy (MARCA, 2/12). ... FC Barcelona player ANDRES INIESTA and Spanish Olympic Medalist MIREIA BELMONTE were awarded the Spanish male and female athlete of '12 at the 65th Mundo Deportivo Gala (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 2/11). ... Brasileiro Santos striker NEYMAR and Brazilian actress BRUNA MARQUEZINE "are now dating" (GLOBO ESPORTE, 2/12). ... Governor of the Bank of Canada MARK CARNEY, who will soon become the head of the central bank in Britain, revealed that he is a supporter of Premier League club Everton (REUTERS, 2/12). ... The bank run by Scottish Premier League Heart of Midlothian Owner VLADIMIR ROMANOV has been temporarily suspended "after the authorities ruled it had engaged in risky behaviour and no longer met finance requirements." It is still unknown "what impact the move" will have on the club (HERALD SCOTLAND, 2/12). ... After a 10-year, 470-match winning streak, Dutch Paralympic legend ESTHER VERGEER has retired, ending "one of the most prolific careers in any sport." Vergeer won the singles Gold at four Paralympics starting at Sydney 2000 and ending in London last year. She also won 21 grand slam singles titles, 23 grand slam doubles titles, three Paralympic doubles gold medals and a silver. Overall, she won 148 singles titles and 136 in doubles (AP, 2/12). ... The future of Nigerian coach STEPHEN KESHI has "overshadowed Nigeria's African Cup of Nations celebrations," after the coach quit his post just hours after guiding his side to success -- only to withdraw his resignation shortly afterward (THE NATIONAL, 2/12).
GET WHAT YOU DESERVE: Major League Soccer N.Y. Red Bulls striker THIERRY HENRY wants football officials to "deduct points in the standings" from teams whose fans racially abuse players. Henry thinks more attention is being focused these days on fans who misbehave. Henry said, "It's not that it is happening more, it's more that the players are making people notice it more" (AP, 2/11). ... South Korean footballer PARK JONG-WOO "will be awarded his long-awaited" Olympic Bronze Medal, following a ruling by the IOC over his controversial celebration at the London Games. A Korean Olympic Committee official said, "The IOC gave Park a stern warning. Also, the KOC was ordered to establish plans to educate Korean athletes and to prevent similar instances from occurring again" (YONHAP, 2/12).
PA's MARTYN ZIEGLER: "After Olympics bombshell wrestling's world fed to meet on Saturday in Phuket. That's also what they said when they heard the news."
ZEIT ONLINE's CHRISTIAN SPILLER: "Ach, kommt schon. Alle die jetzt beklagen, dass Ringen gestrichen wird, sollen mal erzählen, wann sie zuletzt einen Kampf gesehen haben." ... ("Ah, come on. All those who complain now that wresting will be dropped should tell first, when was the last time they have watched a wresting match.")
iG ESPORTE's MARCELO LAGUNA: "Espírito Olímpico: COI rasga sua própria história ao excluir a luta dos Jogos" ... ("Olympic Spirit: IOC defies its own history by excluding wrestling")
BBC's PHIL MCNULTY: "Not sure Rooney will be worried about Marca description as "freckled demon" & "player & hooligan all rolled into one." Sure he's heard worse"
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