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Volume 6 No. 212

People and Pop Culture

F1 team Mercedes AMG Petronas "has cut ties" with its CEO NICK FRY, "who will step down at the beginning of April." Fry's responsibilities "will be taken over" by Exec Dir TOTO WOLFF. Fry, who has been with the team since '02, "will support the team in an advisory role" until at least '14 (FOCUS, 3/22). ... Former Qatar Manager PAULO AUTUORI has been appointed coach of Brasileiro club Vasco. The 56-year-old agreed to terms with the Rio de Janeiro outfit on Friday after the sacking of former coach GAUCHO (XINHUA, 3/23).

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Real Madrid coach JOSE MOURINHO reiterated his claim that he and not Spain handler VINCENTE DEL BOSQUE "was the rightful recipient of FIFA's 2012 World Coach of the Year award." Mourinho alleged del Bosque picked up the honour at a ceremony in Zurich in January only after "irregularities" when people who had voted for him had their votes changed (AFP, 3/23). ... ManU Manager ALEX FERGUSON is "refusing to speak to the media." UEFA's disciplinary committee has ruled the indiscretion worthy only of a £8,500 ($12,900) fine. The committee also suspended NANI "for one match following the red card that swung the tie in Real's favour and prompted Ferguson's decision not to attend the post-match briefings." UEFA did not find Nani "guilty of violent conduct and a one-match ban is the minimum punishment he could have received" (GUARDIAN, 3/22). ... Sky Sports has confirmed that "they are in talks" with former England captain ANDREW STRAUSS over him joining "their stellar commentary team for this summer's Ashes series." Strauss, 36, has "taken time away form the game." However, the "opportunity to share his views on this summer's home series with Australia is proving a tempting one." An agreement that will see him become the sixth former England captain to join the Sky commentary team -- alongside IAN BOTHAM, DAVID GOWER, NASSER HUSSAIN, BOB WILLIS and MICHAEL ATHERTON -- is "likely to be announced before the start of the summer" (London DAILY MAIL, 3/23). ... India fast bowler ISHANT SHARMA has been fined 15% of his match fee for breaching the ICC code of conduct during the third day of play in the fourth and last Test against Australia in Delhi Sunday. Sharma admitted to the charge and accepted the sanction imposed by ICC Match referee RANJAN MADUGALLE without the need to convene a disciplinary hearing (ICC).

BBC presenter GARY LINEKER: "Easy but embarrassing mistake for Lewis Hamilton to make going to his old team McLaren and not Mercedes at the pit stop. One I can relate to"

Ferrari's FERNANDO ALONSO: "Mala suerte hoy, como siempre a lo largo de 19 carreras se compensará, así q listos para recuperar puntos en la próxima!" ... ("Bad luck today, as always over 19 races will be compensated and we are ready to recover good points in the next race!")

The Daily Mirror's JOHN CROSS: "Montenegro team staying in our hotel. I'll give Arsene a buzz see if he wants me to kidnap Jovetic. They've all just got in the lift with me"

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