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Volume 10 No. 25

People and Pop Culture

SIMON THOMAS will join Fox Int'l Channels' exec management team in January as exec VP of global sports and content sales. The appointment comes as FIC continues to expand its worldwide sports presence and ownership of premium sports rights as well as its catalog of original factual, lifestyle and scripted content. Thomas spearheads the development of two of FIC’s highest growth units. The first is the int'l Fox Sports channel portfolio and its complementary stake in global sports rights. The second is a newly consolidated content sales and syndication arm responsible for monetizing FIC’s growing library of content. Thomas will be based in London and Zurich and will report to FIC President & CEO HERNAN LOPEZ. Thomas most recently served as CEO of TEAM Marketing, having run TEAM’s TV Division for 10 years. During this time he oversaw TV licensing negotiations generating more than €11B ($14.8B) in income for European football (FIC).

Ireland is set to appoint former captain MARTIN O'NEILL as national football team manager and former player ROY KEANE as his assistant, "more than a decade after the former captain walked out on the team" at the 2002 World Cup. FAI CEO JOHN DELANEY said that the pair "had still to sign contracts but that he saw no impediment" to O'Neill taking over from GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI, who quit in September, and that the former Aston Villa and Celtic boss "would be unveiled on Saturday." Delaney said, "Almost done now. There's nothing I think that will be an impediment in terms of Martin being manager and Roy as his assistant" (REUTERS, 11/5). ... Canterbury Rugby Football Union and Crusaders CEO HAMISH RIACH announced that DOUG MCSWEENEY "has been appointed to the role of Marketing Manager for both organisations." McSweeney comes from a background of 10 years in sports management and marketing roles, most recently as the marketing manager for the Highlanders and Otago Rugby. McSweeney previously worked as the GM for Canterbury Golf Inc., and as the marketing and commercial manager for the Canterbury Cricket Association prior to that (VOXY, 11/5). ... Former South Korean footballer LEE KWANG-JONG was introduced as the new coach of the South Korea men's U22 national football team for the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Kim had been the coach of the U20 national team since '11 and led the team to the quarterfinals in this year's U20 World Cup in Turkey (JOONGANG DAILY, 11/6).

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Former India cricket captain SUNIL GAVASKAR has termed cricketer SACHIN TENDULKAR's retirement from int'l cricket as the "biggest" the game has ever seen, while "another former great" VVS Laxman feels that CAB's farewell arrangements won't cause "distraction" to him" (PTI 11/5). ... Cricket Association of Bengal on Tuesday "invited criticism" from Indian captain MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI during the customary pre-match press conference ahead of the opening Test against the West Indies. Dhoni "criticised the CAB for a goof-up in spelling Tendulkar's name on a giant billboard put up near the electronic scorecard at the High Court end." Dhoni said, "This is a very big (mistake)! It's there inside the stadium" (PTI, 11/5). ... Japanese Pacific League club Rakuten Eagles pitcher MASAHIRO TANAKA "offered no relief" on Tuesday to MLB teams waiting for word that the right-hander will become available through the posting system. Tanaka said, “I have nothing to say. That will come after I talk with the team” (KYODO, 11/5). ... La Liga Valencia sacked Sports Dir BRAULIO VAZQUEZ. Los Che were speculated in recent days as considering both Vazquez and Coach MIROSLAV DJUKIC's position at the club. With rumors suggesting that President AMADEO SALVO "was keen to keep faith with the Serb, it is the sporting director who has exited" (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 11/5). ... Spanish cyclist JOAQUIM RODRÍGUEZ will be recognized at the Camp Nou prior to Barcelona's Champions League match against Serie A side AC Milan on Wednesday. Rodríguez is currently ranked No. 1 in the Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) World Tour (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 11/5).

Sydney Daily Telegraph's CARLY WEINBERG-ADNO: "Not a word on poor Verema who had to be put down after the race? What a tragic end. #MelbourneCup"

Autosport's JONATHAN NOBLE: "Taxi for Mr Ecclestone..." (see picture)

London Evening Standard's MIHIR BOSE: "Pre match publicity with managers is standard but have we ever seen such concentrated exposure as Jurgen Klopp? #BVB"

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