Outgoing FA Chair DAVID BERNSTEIN "has advised his successor to stick with England's under-fire" Manager ROY HODGSON, according to Toby Davis of REUTERS. Bernstein, who retires next month, will be replaced by former BBC Dir General GREG DYKE with England's place at next year's World Cup in Brazil "far from assured." The current chairman believes that Hodgson "will turn around England's fortunes and secure qualification for Brazil." Bernstein: "I have met with him and passed on that (supportive) view. Roy has been a first-class appointment and I'm very confident he will bring us back to Brazil" (REUTERS, 6/4).
People and Pop Culture
Former England Manager SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON has been named head coach of Chinese club Guangzhou R&F after leaving UAE side Al Nasr. China is "just the latest in a long list of destinations for the well-travelled Swede," who has previously coached the national teams of Mexico and Ivory Coast as well as numerous clubs, including Lazio and Man City (PA, 6/4). ... Thai football coach WINFRIED SCHÄFER has terminated his contract with the FA of Thailand (FAT). Schaefer and the FAT "have had a strained relationship," and it was brought to a head when former national striker KIATISAK SENAMUANG "was appointed caretaker coach of the national team ahead of a friendly" (BANGKOK POST, 6/4). ... Newly relegated Serie B side Palermo CEO MAURIZIO ZAMPARINI has announced the appointment of GENNARO GATTUSO as the club’s new coach. Zamparini replaces GIUSEPPE SANNINO, who was "asked to leave the outfit following relegation" (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 6/4). ... Former Real Madrid player FERNANDO HIERRO will sign this week as Qatar Football Association's Athletic Dir. Hierro will work with the association for two seasons, with his main goal being "establishing the foundation for Qatar to earn a guaranteed spot in the 2022 World Cup" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 6/4). ... Former Real Madrid and Málaga player FERNANDO SANZ has been named the Spanish Football League's (LFP) director general of the organization's North Africa & Middle East delegation. The LFP indicated that "this begins a new stage of international expansion with the creation of an office of exterior representation to promote the league among fans, sponsors and investors" (EFE, 6/4). ... Serbian coach MIROSLAV DJUKIC has left his post at La Liga Real Valladolid after two years to take over at Valencia, where he played from '97-'03. Djukic: "I am happy to return home to my club, and I hope to meet all the expectations that the club has placed on me" (FOOTBALL ESPAÑA, 6/4).
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A South African judge "postponed the murder trial" of Paralympian OSCAR PISTORIUS on Tuesday, and "criticized the media for sensationalist reporting" of the shooting of his girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Pistorius "remained composed" throughout the 10-minute hearing at the Pretoria Magistrates Court when he made his first formal public appearance since his release on bail in February. Judge DANIEL THULARE "postponed the case" until Aug. 19, after prosecutors asked "for more time to prepare their case" (REUTERS, 6/4). ... Japan 2012 Olympic middleweight boxing Gold Medalist RYOTA MURATA "has signed a professional contract with American promoter Top Rank. Murata will be co-promoted by Japan boxing promoter AKIHIKO HONDA's Teiken Boxing and will turn pro in Tokyo in August (ESPN, 6/3). ... Former Bangladesh captain MOHAMMAD ASHRAFUL "confessed to match-fixing on Tuesday," after being suspended by the Bangladesh Cricket Board pending an investigation. Ashraful: "I confessed to all the charges...in the interest of cricket. I'll accept any punishment given by BCB. I always tried to give my best in cricket but I'm also feeling guilty for my wrongdoings. Please forgive me" (REUTERS, 6/4). ... Australian PM JULIA GILLARD and Minister for Sport KATE LUNDY on Saturday congratulated MOYA DODD on her election to FIFA's exec committee (XINHUA, 6/4). ... South African football personalities "have expressed shock" following the killing of former player PERCY SIBIYA in a car hijacking incident in Midrand last weekend. Sibiya was shot on Saturday. He was 54. He was one of only two South African players' agents accredited by FIFA (SOWETAN LIVE, 6/4). ... Real Madrid President FLORENTINO PEREZ has denied reports striker CRISTIANO RONALDO "has rejected" a new contract (AFP, 6/4).
TAKING A BREAK: Former Bundesliga Bayern Munich Manager JUPP HEYNCKES said that he will "take a break from football management next season," ending speculation he will manage Real Madrid. Heynckes, who will be replaced by former Barcelona coach PEP GUARDIOLA, won the Champions League last month as well as the Bundesliga and Cup double for an unprecedented treble by a German club. Heynckes: "From July 1, I will not take over any club here or abroad. I will recover, think about what has happened in the past weeks and months" (REUTERS, 6/4).
London Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "CFC's website's automatic headline feed includes: "From Special One to Second Choice", "It could be the mother of all crashes with Jose"."
Payne Sports Media Strategies CEO & Chair MICHAEL PAYNE: "#2020 Olympic race getting interesting - Tokyo contaminated water from neuclear; Madrid & economy; Istanbul & protests - not easy for IOC!"
ESPN's DARREN ROVELL: "New NY Cosmos jersey unveiled today" (with picture, left).
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