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Volume 6 No. 215

People and Pop Culture

Qatar has offered Spain's national handball coach VALERO RIVERA a deal worth €800,000 ($1M) to coach its national team, according to MIDDLE EAST ONLINE. Spanish King JUAN CARLOS' son-in-law INAKI URDANGARIN who is under investigation for allegedly embezzling millions of euros of public money "has been invited to accompany Rivera to Qatar if he agrees to manage the Gulf state's national team, daily newspapers ABC and La Vanguardia as well as radio Cadena Cope reported" (MIDDLE EAST ONLINE, 4/8).

A new trailer for the upcoming movie, "Rush," has been released. It is "about the 1976 battle between James Hunt and Niki Lauda," according to the BBC. Set for release in September, "'Rush' recreates the dramatic 1976 Formula One season and two very unique individuals campaigning it." Lauda had "his last rites read to him following his fiery crash at the Nürburgring during ‘76, only to return six weeks later to continue racing." And then there's Hunt, "legendary philanderer and the closest thing Formula One had to a rock star." Chris Hemsworth will play Hunt, Daniel Brühl (from Inglorious Basterds) is Lauda. The film is directed by Oscar-winner Ron Howard, shot by Oscar-winner Anthony Dod Mantle, and written by Oscar-nominee Peter Morgan (BBC, 4/8).

Infront Sports & Media announced the promotion of Infront China's CEO & Managing Dir MA GUOLI to chairman of the Infront China board of directors. He will step up from his operational position to the new role as of Jan. 1 (Infront). ... Former rugby Premiership London Wasps and EPL Queens Park Rangers CEO DAVID DAVIES "has been appointed managing director of Edinburgh Rugby." Davies takes over the running of the Murrayfield club from CRAIG DOCHERTY, "who will complete a transition into his new role as Scottish Rugby's head of retail and product licensing" (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 4/9). ... Association of Surfing Professionals Int'l announced the appointment of MICHAEL LYNCH as its chief marketing & revenue officer. Lynch joins ASP shortly after the organization announced PAUL SPEAKER in the role of ASP CEO. Together they will work to build surfing’s new global sports league. Lynch will be responsible for helping the organization optimize its growth potential worldwide and specifically manage all ASP marketing, communications and sponsorship activities (ASP).

Uganda's football governing body, FUFA, has sacked national team coach BOBBY WILLIAMSON. Williamson's contract "was terminated on Monday during an emergency meeting" of FUFA chaired by FUFA President LAWRENCE MULINDWA (XINHUA, 4/8). ... Former South Africa national football team coach JOEL SANTANA "has signed a one-year deal with Brazilian top-flight outfit Bahia." Santana replaces JORGINHO, "who was sacked after Bahia's 5-1 loss to Vitoria on Sunday" (XINHUA, 4/9).

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AC Milan striker MARIO BALOTELLI "has been suspended for the next three Serie A games after insulting an official in Milan's match against Fiorentina on Sunday." Balotelli "will miss Milan's crucial matches" against Napoli and Juventus as well as the visit of Catania (AP, 4/9). ... South African cricketer WAYNE PARNELL "was granted bail" on a surety of Rs 10,000 ($184) in a '12 Juhu, India sundown party case after he surrendered before the special Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act court on Monday (TNN, 4/9). ... Former Real Madrid footballer AFLREDO DI STEFANO was admitted to the Hospital La Fe in Valencia Tuesday to have the battery in his pacemaker replaced. The 86-year-old di Stefano is expected to be hospitalized for "the next two days" (LIBERTAD DIGITAL, 4/9). ... Two of the five men accused in the January 24 murder of journalist NICOLAS PACHECO in Buenos Aires turned themselves into authorities Tuesday morning (CLARIN, 4/9). ... Grand National winning jockey RYAN MANIA "has left hospital and says that he now hopes to watch a replay of his famous victory." The 23-year-old Scot spent two days in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary after "falling during a race at Hexham on Sunday -- just one day after his remarkable win at Aintree" (LONDON TIMES, 4/9). ... Hockey India appointed MATTHEW TREDREA as scientific advisor of the senior women's team (PTI, 4/9). ... Footballer ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO was named Sydney FC, Sydney FC members and the Football Media Association's player of the year. Del Piero is expected to claim the A-League's biggest individual prize, the Johnny Warren Medal for the competition's most outstanding player, in Sydney on Monday night (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/10). ... London 2012 CEO PAUL DEIGHTON "has been appointed by the government to start negotiations with France's EDF Energy on bringing new nuclear power stations" to the U.K. Talks are "held with the aim to swiftly increase power generation capacity to avoid a supply gap" (GASTO POWER JOURNAL, 4/9). ... A half-brother of champion racehorse BLACK CAVIAR was "sold for an Australian record" A$5M ($5.2M) at the Easter yearling sale in Sydney (EURO SPORT, 4/9).'s ANDY JAMES: "Possibly the most incredible night of @ChampionsLeague football I've ever witnessed... @BVB @MalagaCF Up there with the '99 final!"

Reuters' KAROLOS GROHMANN: "Expect @BVB Dortmund to spend some serious money in the summer if #Lewandowski leaves a year ahead of his contract end. #BVB"

The London Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "Surprised to hear Mike Ingham give Thatcher credit for football reform. Tho indirectly, suppose PL as we know it wouldn't exist without her."

The London Times' RORY SMITH: "The Premier League is a monument to Thatcherite economics. But if her intention was to save football, she had a funny way of going about it."

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