Cricket Australia sacked coach MICKEY ARTHUR and replaced him with DARREN LEHMANN "just over two weeks before the start of the Ashes series against England," according to Mulvenney & Reich of REUTERS. CA CEO JAMES SUTHERLAND said, "We've made a tough decision and the timing of this decision will have no doubt surprised and even shocked a lot of people." Arthur said that "he took full responsibility for the situation." Arthur: "The reality is when you take a job on as head coach, you are totally responsible for the outcomes." Australia captain MICHAEL CLARKE, who has asked to step down from his role as a team selector, said that he was "initially shocked by events but was now fully focused on getting results." Clarke: "We know what the standards and expectations off the field are as well in regard to behavior and we have no excuses for not upholding those values" (REUTERS, 6/24).
TAKING ACTION: In Sydney, Chloe Saltau reported Sutherland said that the sport's hierarchy "could no longer sit back and watch on as the national team combined dismal on-field performance with lapses in off-field discipline." Sutherland: ''We've come to a conclusion that things weren't improving and we could let things stay as they are, stay as the status quo, or we could make change. We didn't want to get to a stage where we looked back on this Ashes series and felt that we could have done something about it" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/25). In Brisbane, Ben Dorries reported Sutherland "has virtually escaped scrutiny for presiding over the rabble and embarrassing laughing stock that is Australia's inept cricket system." The former Victorian fast bowler's biggest blunder "has been taking a cringingly lightweight stance on misbehaving players" since being appointed CA CEO in '01 (COURIER-MAIL, 6/24).
League Championship Brighton & Hove Albion "hit back" at fired Manager GUS POYET Monday morning to deny his claim that he learned "he had been sacked as manager only after it was announced on the club's website," according to Sam Munnery of the LONDON TIMES. Poyet was appearing on BBC’s Match of the Day program as a pundit Sunday night when Brighton "released a statement confirming his dismissal." Poyet, who had been suspended by the club since last month and was the subject of a disciplinary hearing last week, said during halftime of Uruguay’s clash with Spain: “I think the BBC have a great story forever, because a manager getting information that he is being released from his employment by the BBC is quite surprising. I have had no communication, no texts, no email" (LONDON TIMES, 6/24). In London, Dominic Fifield reported Brighton released a statement "vehemently denying the Uruguayan's claim that he had been unaware of his dismissal until being told while working as a pundit" on TV. Brighton's statement read, "The club would like to point out that its disciplinary panel considered the matter on the afternoon of Friday 21 June and for most of Saturday 22 June. The club spent much of Sunday 23 June in discussion with Gus and his representatives. Gus was well aware, before he appeared on the BBC last evening, that his dismissal was pending" (GUARDIAN, 6/24).
New Bayern Munich coach PEP GUARDIOLA "held his first official press conference in his new position," according to BILD. Ahead of the press conference, people "were speculating the Spaniard might answer a couple of questions in German." Guardiola, however, "surprised everybody and held the press conference almost exclusively in German." Guardiola: "Good day. Please excuse my German. I've learnt German for a year in New York, but that's not the best place to learn German." The 42-year-old "has reportedly learnt German with the help of a tutor from N.Y.'s Goethe Institute." The tutor "was reportedly a Borussia Dortmund fan." Besides Guardiola, Bayern President ULI HOENEß, Exec Chair KARL-HEINZ RUMMENIGGE and Sports Dir MATTHIAS SAMMER were also part of the press conference (BILD, 6/24). MARCA reported that Guardiola said that "it is a gift for me to be here, it is an opportunity that they have given me." He said he chose Bayern because "of its players and its history." Guardiola: "The history of Bayern makes it special. When Bayern calls you, it is a great honor. This is why I decided to come here. My time with Barcelona was marvelous, but I needed a new challenge and Bayern Munich has given me this possibility" (MARCA, 6/24).
The Korea FA named HONG MYUNG-BO manager of the men’s senior national team. While the KFA did review three other candidates, Hong "had been pegged as the front-runner from the beginning of the coach hunt" (KOREA TIMES, 6/24). ... Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia Deputy President HUANG YING HOW "retained his position." He edged out challenger RAMLEE ABDULLAH in a close fight during the 41st annual general meeting at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil. PROF. DR. TAN SIEW EE "was ousted after collecting only 30 votes" (THE STAR, 6/24).
British Cycling CEO BRIAN COOKSON "has launched his bid for the presidency of world cycling by making six key pledges to clean up the sport and end corruption." His manifesto to become the head of the Int'l Cycling Union included "substantial promises, most notably a complete overhaul of anti-doping with possible four-year bans and a six-month window for an independent investigation into corruption allegations" (GUARDIAN, 6/24). ... Pakistan Cricket Board Chief selector IQBAL QASIM has made it clear that "he has no intention of stepping down because of the national team's poor performance in the Champions Trophy" (PAKISTAN TODAY, 6/22). ... Former NBA player STEPHON MARBURY is in Manila "to promote his own line of shoes and apparel named Starbury" (MANILA TIMES, 6/24). ... Interim Pakistan Cricket Board CEO NAJAM SETHI said that a five-year ban for spot-fixing against "talented cricketer" MOHAMMAD AAMER "should be reduced" (AFP, 6/24). ... Former Paris St. Germain Manager CARLO ANCELOTTI will sign a contract with Real Madrid on Tuesday for three seasons. The "agreement is complete and the final signature from Ancelotti is all that is left for the Italian to finally become the Real Madrid coach" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 6/23). ... A Melbourne judicial officer "issued an arrest warrant" for Australia rugby player DIGBY IOANE five days before the Wallabies face the British & Irish Lions in the second match of their series. Ioane "didn't appear in court." He was "due to face a charge of unlawful assault following an alleged March 9 incident in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran" (BLOOMBERG, 6/24).
Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee President & CEO DMITRY CHERNYSHENKO: "Our ambition to conquer Space 1st time ever in the Olympic history becomes reality. #Sochi2014's Torch Relay will reach the open space!"
London Daily Mirror's OLIVER HOLT: "Shame about exit of Nadal. Was looking forward to that prospective quarter final clash with Federer. The dangers of presumption"
London Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "BREAKING: Nadal's conquerer Steve Darcis has a tattoo of a shark on his shoulder "because he likes sharks"."
London Telegraph's OLIVER BROWN: "Federer pressed (by an American) for thoughts on Mandela. Why? Seems to be some implicit assumption that they occupy same level of humanity."