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Volume 10 No. 22

People and Pop Culture

A Pakistani film "inspired by the fairytale career" of cricket player SHAHID AFRIDI "goes on release next month, a heart-warming tale of raw talent that producers believe will be a smash hit," according to the AFP. "Main houn Afridi" or "I am Afridi" is about a young boy who dreams of becoming a great cricket star and chronicles the ordeal he faces en route to playing like his idol. Producer HUMAYUN SAEED, a top actor in Pakistan, "initially persuaded Afridi to take the lead role," but the 33-year-old said that it violated the traditions of his tribe on the Afghan border. Saeed said that the film, which cost around $1M to make, "will be released in Pakistan for the Muslim festival Eid, as well as in the Gulf and in India." Saeed said, "It's an underdog story which centres on the game of cricket. It's all about wealthy versus poor, who both try to make a name in cricket but the passion of the poor wins the day." The cast will include JAVED SHEIKH, NADEEM BAIG, SHAFQAT CHEEMA, Saeed and MAHNOOR BALOCH. The lead is played by NOMAN HABIB, a young boy from Karachi (AFP, 7/8).

The board of directors of the German Sports & Olympic Museum has appointed 53-year-old sports historian ANDREAS HÖFER its new director. Since '07, Höfer had been the founding director of the German Olympic Academy in Frankfurt (DOSB). ... Argentine First Division side Tigre has hired DIEGO CAGNA as head coach. Cagna replaces NÉSTOR GOROSITO (OLE, 7/8). ... The UK Golf Course Owners Association has appointed ANDREW LLOYD-SKINNER as interim CEO. The association also announced that GM JAMES CAMERON has stepped down from his position with immediate effect due to family commitments (UKGCOA). ... Super League rugby Salford City Reds have appointed DAVE MATTHEWS as their CEO. He replaces ED FARISH, who "left his role by mutual consent last month," although he will work alongside the new man during a transition period. Matthews "has experience in commercial marketing and finance, but will be taking his first job in rugby league" (BBC, 7/8).

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German int'l and Bayern Munich striker MARIO GOMEZ "will leave the treble-winning squad and join Serie A club AC Fiorentina after long negotiations." Bayern Munich "made the official announcement on Monday afternoon." German and Italian media outlets report a transfer fee between €15M-€16M ($19.3M-$20.5M) for the 27-year-old, which is less than Bayern's original demand of €20M ($25.7M) (SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 7/8). ... Former Argentine First Division side Boca Juniors player GUILLERMO BARROS SCHELOTTO on Sunday expressed his excitement after seeing the bronze statue of him built outside the club's museum. Schelotto played for the club from '97-07 and his statue joins those of former Boca stars including DIEGO MARADONA (CLARIN, 7/7). ... Former South African Premier Soccer League side Platinum Stars Chair FLOYD "JOMO" MBELE has renewed ties with the Orlando Pirates. Pirates Chair IRVIN KHOZA and Mbele met on Thursday. It was "decided that Mbele will be in charge of Pirates' administration -- the job he excelled in before leaving the club" in '11. Mbele returns after SENZO MAZINGIZA left to join Dikwena as Football GM "after being offered a five-year contract" (SOWETAN LIVE, 7/8). ... Super Rugby Melbourne Rebels "have continued their end-of-season clean-out" by sacking head coach DAMIEN HILL. Hill will be replaced by former Munster coach TONY MCGAHAN, who joins on a two-year deal, the team said. Hill's dismissal "adds to sweeping changes to the Rebels roster," with captain GARETH DELVE and backs NICK PHIPPS and COOPER VUNA "among a raft of players departing" (REUTERS, 7/8). ... After the Australian Rugby Union released coach ROBBIE DEANS "from his two-year contract six months early," EWEN MCKENZIE will coach the Wallabies at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. McKenzie will "be unveiled as early as Tuesday ad Deans' replacement" (THE AGE, 7/9). Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia coach and former European Footballer of the Year HRISTO STOICHKOV resigned on Monday "after only a month in charge of the troubled Bulgarian club, saying he had lost faith in the owners and their 'endless lies.'" Stoichkov: "I'm fed up, I"m leaving" (REUTERS, 7/8).

London Times' KEVIN EASON: "Wow. I see that Man Utd has announced Aeroflot as their official carrier. Wow. They have obviously never flown Aeroflot"

Reuters' ALAN BALDWIN: "Amazing to think that yesterday's German GP was Vettel's first win in Europe since Italy 2011."

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