Austrian first-tier hockey club Red Bull Salzburg has promoted head coach PIERRE PAGÉ to sports director. The "top candidate to fill the now vacant coaching job is current German Hockey Leage (DEL) side Eisbären Berlin head coach" DON JACKSON (SID, 3/5). ... Second Bundesliga club Erzgebirge Aue has fired Sports Dir STEFFEN HEIDRICH with immediate effect (SID, 3/4). ... League Championship club Blackpool has appointed KASPARS VARPINS to its board of directors (Blackpool). ... Central Districts cricket Coach ALAN HUNT is stepping down at the end of the season. Hunt said, "I have looked at what I have achieved in my time and think that it is the right time to pass the baton onto someone else and explore other opportunities" (APNZ, 3/5).
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DAVID BECKHAM will play in an All-Star game in China later this year as "part of a deal to help raise the profile of football in the world's most populous country" (AP, 3/5). ... Asian Football Confederation VP YOUSUF AL SERKAL wants to move Asian football away from the "chaos" of the past few years and put the development of the game back on top of the agenda if he wins the race to become president of the AFC. He is "one of four candidates who will stand for the post," due to be decided by vote on May 2. He is up against his Bahrain counterpart Sheikh SALMAN BIN EBRAHIM AL KHALIFA, Saudi Arabia's HAFEZ AL MEDLEJ and Thailand's WORAWI MAKUDI (THE NATIONAL, 3/5). ... Hong Kong's table tennis team is seeking a head coach after HUI JUN "decided not to extend his contract when it expires at the end of this month." A former world mixed doubles champion from the mainland, Hui joined the China national team as a coach in the late '80s after retiring from playing. CHAN KONG-WAH, a table tennis coach at the Sports Institute, is "one of the favourites for the position" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 3/5). ... Hatton Promotions has signed London Olympian DAMIEN HOOPER (LIVE FIGHT, 3/5). ... Brazilian racing driver LUIZ RAZIA said "sponsors are to blame" for his premature exit from F1 this year. Marussia signed French driver JULES BIANCHI after erminating the contract of Razia (ISPORTCONNECT, 3/5). ... Former world champion sprinter STEVE MULLINGS "remains banned for life" after the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed his appeal. The Jamaican was suspended for two years by his country’s anti-doping authority in '04 after testing positive for the anabolic steroid methyltestosterone (BLOOMBERG, 3/4).
HONORS: Former Swiss tennis player MARTINA HINGIS leads the '13 class for the Int'l Tennis Hall of Fame. The other new members of the Hall announced Monday are CLIFF DRYSDALE, CHARLIE PASARELL and ION TIRIAC (AP, 3/5). ... Indian midfielder SARDAR SINGH won the Asian Hockey Federation men's Player of the Year award for '11 while India women's team captain RITU RANI won the women's Player of the Year (IANS, 3/5).
Williams F1 Race Team Manager DICKIE STANFORD: "All done. Trucks packed. Now buy the boys a beer."
Ferrari F1 driver FERNANDO ALONSO: "06:42h. Control antidoping." ... ("06:42am. Antidoping Control")
Real Madrid's CRISTIANO RONALDO: "I'm looking forward to return to Old Trafford. I've so many good memories there. It will be an exciting game and our goal is to win."
The Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "Istanbul's 2020 bid has signed a partnership agreement with Greek govt (nearly bankrupted by Athens 2004). Am I missing something here?"
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