The Catalan Football Federation announced that GERARD LÓPEZ SEGÚ will be the new coach of the Spanish state of Catalonia's football team. Segú will replace JOHAN CRUYFF. During his playing career, Segú, 34, played for La Liga sides Barcelona and Valencia and Spanish second division side Girona (EP, 10/7). ... Liga MX side Atlas has introduced JOSE LUIS MATA as its new interim coach. Mata: "We know the risk that the team is facing, but we have confidence that we can move forward" (LA AFICION, 10/8). ... Last year's African champions Zambia coach HERVE RENARD "has left" and agreed to take over as coach of Ligue 1 Sochaux. Renard, who has never coached a professional squad in France, "led unheralded Zambia to their first continental trophy last year, thanks to shock victories" over favorites Ghana in the semifinal and then Ivory Coast on penalties in the final. Local media reported that Renard "will be joining the club until the end of the season with an option for an additional season'' (REUTERS, 10/8). ... Bundesliga club FC Nuremberg has sacked coach MICHAEL WIESINGER after it "failed to win any of their opening eight games in the Bundesliga and slumped to 16th place" (REUTERS, 10/8). ... UK Sport has appointed Youth Sport Trust CEO JOHN STEELE to chair its science, medicine and technology arm, the English Institute of Sport. Established in '02, the institute now has more than 250 staff providing approximately 4,000 hours of sport science and medical support to more than 1,700 athletes across Great Britain and at camps and competitions overseas every week. Steele succeeds STEVE CRAM, who stepped down in June after 10 years (UK Sport). ... British Racing Drivers' Club named Motor Sports Association Chair JOHN GRANT as its new chairman, replacing STUART ROLT (BRDC). ... GUS POYET "has been handed the task of dragging Sunderland out of relegation trouble" after being named as PAOLO DI CANIO's successor. The 45-year-old Uruguayan "has signed a two-year deal and will take charge with immediate effect, becoming the club's sixth permanent manager in less than five years." Sunderland Owner ELLIS SHORT said, "We analyzed a wide range of candidates and believe that Gus's track record, experience, commitment and passion make him the right man to take us forward. We welcome him to Sunderland" (PA, 10/8).
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New Zealand rugby player SONNY BILL WILLIAMS is "belatedly putting up his hand to help New Zealand's World Cup defence." Just hours after a disappointed Kiwi coach STEPHEN KEARNEY revealed that "other commitments" had ruled Williams out of his 24-man squad named on Tuesday, the All Blacks player "phoned him to say he wanted to play in the tournament" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 10/8). ... The Badminton Association of India on Monday said it has set up an independent three-member panel to hear player JWALA GUTTA's case "against the life ban proposed against her by its disciplinary committee." The panel "will have to give a decision within a month, till when Jwala will not be considered for national or international selection" (IANS, 10/7). ... Lawyers for Australian Football League side Brisbane "have scuttled a bid" by AFL Hall of fame legend LEIGH MATTHEWS to challenge Chair ANGUS JOHNSON at a members vote. Matthews and fellow challenger, Fitzroy great ROSS THORNTON, "are life members but have not been a full members of the club for long enough according to the club’s constitution." Springfield Land Corp Deputy Chair BOB SHARPLESS "has been recruited onto the board as a special appointment and looks certain to assume the chairmanship" (Brisbane COURIER-MAIL, 10/8). ... English cricketer KEVIN PIETERSEN was on Tuesday "awarded undisclosed libel damages over an advertisement that suggested he had tampered with his bat during this year’s Ashes series against Australia." The advertisement for opticians Specsavers showed a picture of the batsman alongside the statement: “‘Bat tampering’ in the Ashes? Apparently Hot Spot should’ve gone to Specsavers” (AFP, 10/8). ... FANDI AHMAD "has been lined up to take charge" as coach of Singapore side LionsXII when the team defends its Malaysian Super League title next season. Football Association of Singapore's council members "will be meeting Fandi over the next few days to work out a deal" (STRAITS TIMES, 10/8). ... Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB) President JOSÉ LUIS SÁEZ "indicated his possible retirement in 2018 after organizing the FIBA World Championship for Women that year." Sáez said, "With the 2014 FIBA World Cup we have shown that we can host a great competition without help from public coffers. I have 25 years of experience and I would like to step down after organizing the FIBA World Championship for Women in Spain" (EFE, 10/8). ... Spanish cyclist JUAN ANTONIO FLECHA, 36, will "hang up his bicycle" after competing in the Tour of Beijing, which starts Friday. Flecha: "I love the sport and I am saying goodbye with a smile. Cycling will remain a part of my life, I am sure" (EFE, 10/8). ... The IAAF is threatening "an exemplary doping sanction of four years" for Spanish runner MARTA DOMINGUEZ. An IAAF letter written in February proposed a sanction of two years, "the usual for doping." Dominguez's case is now being reviewed by Spain's Superior Sports Council (CSD), which will "have to make a decision regarding the IAAF's request that Dominguez be sanctioned for four years" (MARCA, 10/8). ... Australian Football League side Sydney Swans officially made LANCE FRANKLIN a member after Hawthorn "opted not to match the extraordinary offer." Following an investigation by the league's legal, integrity and compliance departments, the AFL "ratified the long-term contract offer from the Swans for the restricted free agent, subject to certain conditions being met" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/9).
AP Europe's STEVE WILSON: "Does London really want the Jaguars (0-5) as their own team?"
AP U.K.'s ROB HARRIS: "Good news for Wembley - as the pitch can now cope with NFL & soccer games OK - and cash helps to cut the debts"
London Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "Three regular season NFL games in 2014 at Wembley is good news for FA business plan - but 2017 Club Wembley renewals still loom large."
FIFA Secretary General JÈRÔME VALCKE: "For last time. The Brazil #WorldCup WILL be played in 12 host cities, according to match schedule announced Oct 2011."
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