The Welsh Rugby Union has announced that Army Lt. Col MARK WILLIAMS has been appointed Millenium Stadium manager. He will also take a place on the WRU exec board. Williams will have full management responsibility for the operation of the Millennium Stadium, which is wholly owned and operated by the WRU (WRU). ... Six years before Japan hosts the first Rugby World Cup in Asia, MATT CARROLL was appointed COO of the Japan 2019 organizing body. Carroll previously held the posts of GM of the Rugby World Cup 2003 organizing body and acting CEO of the Australian Rugby Union. Carroll also led the establishment of Australia's national A-League football competition (IRB). ... MLS side Toronto FC President & GM KEVIN PAYNE, who handed RYAN NELSEN his job as manager, "has been sacked" and it seems a "breakdown of relationship with Nelsen was behind the split." Payne was hired nine months ago "to try to turn around an under performing franchise" that had never qualified for the playoffs (APNZ, 9/5). ... J.League first-division side Kashiwa Reysol announced Thursday that Manager NELSINHO "rejoined the team after withdrawing his resignation" (KYODO, 9/5). ... DELIA FISCHER has been appointed FIFA's head of media, replacing PEKKA ODRIOZOLA (FIFA).
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ROBIN VAN PERSIE "has dismissed claims he is not happy" working under new ManU Manager DAVID MOYES. Van Persie "insists the stories are false." Van Persie: "It's great working with the new manager, David Moyes. He has his own style and methods and I like them" (PA, 9/5). ... Spanish journalist JESÚS DE LA SERNA died Thursday in Madrid at age 87. De la Serna was president of the Madrid Press Association during the '90s (AS, 9/5). ... Spain's National Futsal League (LNFS) President JAVIER LOZANO has stepped down from the position following the conclusion to his presidential term. Lozano thanked LNFS clubs for their support during his four-year term and "praised the advances that futsal made during the last years, the strengthening of the sport and its great possibilities for the future" (EFE, 9/5). ... NOVAK DJOKOVIC confirmed his South American tour at the end of the year. Djokovic: "I will play two games there. Many friends have asked me to go there." Djokovic added, "I will have one exhibition in Chile and two in Argentina. I expect a mountain of good things, as it will be my first time in Argentina" (OLE, 9/5). ... Chelsea Manager JOSE MOURINHO's son, JOSE MARIO, has signed for EPL side Fulham. The "14-year-old goalkeeper is all set for a new adventure in London after spending the last few seasons plying his trade for Madrid outfit Canillas." He signed a one-year deal (MARCA, 9/4). ... Serie A AC Milan VP ADRIANO GALLIANI "has ruled out any future agreement between the club" and MLS side L.A. Galaxy over a transfer of KAKÁ. Kaká ended a "frustrating few years at Real Madrid" when he rejoined AC Milan on Monday, "signing a two-year contract after being allowed to leave" Real Madrid for free (AFP, 9/6). ... The Union Health Ministry on Thursday announced former Indian cricket team captain RAHUL DRAVID "as brand ambassador for its National Tobacco Control Campaign" (PTI, 9/5).
German NBA player DIRK NOWITZKI: "Wahnsinn, Jungs. Was fuer ein Spiel.... Weiter so." ... ("Awesome guys. What a game.... Keep it up.")
London Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "There are apparently 1700 media here to cover the IOC session, including the 2020 vote. And 600 (!) of those are from Japan."
London Telegraph's PAUL HAYWARD: "Much sense in Greg Dyke's speech but his target of winning the 2022 World Cup - in Qatar - is political hogwash. Coaching revolution needed."
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