GABY HERNÁNDEZ will replace RAFA AGUILAR as the coach of Spain's national men's water polo team. Aguilar will become the Spanish Swimming Federation's (RFEN) technical director (EFE, 2/5). ... Lagardère Unlimited has appointed MAXIME ZELLER as head of digital for Europe and Africa. Zeller is responsible for digital activity across the platform, reporting directly to Head of Lagardère Unlimited Europe & Africa ALAIN LEMARCHAND. Lagardère Unlimited has made digital a priority. Zeller brings more than a decade of experience at Yahoo. He will lead a team of digital experts, offering a wide range of customized agency services across Europe and Africa (Lagardère Unlimited).
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Barcelona President JOSEP MARIA BARTOMEU said that he has "no intention of resigning" even if Barcelona member JORDI CASES' "lawsuit is expected to encompass him." Bartomeu said of how we would react to the lawsuit being extended, "I'm not considering resigning and I'm not worried if that happens. ... There is no evidence that there is anything or anyone behind the member's lawsuit, only a personal opinion" (AS, 2/5). ... Alcobendas, Spain Mayor IGNACIO GARCIA DE VINUESA said on Wednesday that the city's most important football field, currently called José Caballero stadium, will be named after Spanish former coach and player LUIS ARAGONÉS, who died on Saturday at the age of 75 (EP, 2/5). ... 2018 PyeongChange Olympics chief organizer KIM JIN-SUN carried the Olympic torch in Sochi on Wednesday (YONHAP, 2/5). ... British cyclist BRADLEY WIGGINS said that "he had to move his children to a new school because of 'horrendous' bullying" following the LANCE ARMSTRONG drug scandal. Wiggins: "The Lance Armstrong thing... My kids started getting harassed at school. Is your dad on drugs? He won the Tour. Is he the same as Lance Armstrong?' Horrible" (BBC, 2/5). ... Serie A Inter Milan Sporting Dir MARCO BRANCA "looks set to leave the club within the next few days." The retired striker "has been part of the background staff" at San Siro since '02, but has "come in for increased scrutiny for his role in assembling the current squad." And Sky Sport Italia believes that the 49-year-old’s exit "has been agreed, with both parties accepting a termination deal" (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 2/5).
SPECIAL GUEST: Thai Premier League Chair ONG-ARJ KOSINKHA confirmed on Tuesday that former ManU Manager ALEX FERGUSON "will be visiting Thailand to consult on coaching courses with TPL teams." Ong-arj: "Sir Alex will come to take part in several activities, including sharing his coaching experiences with Thai clubs." Ong-arj said that the FA of Thailand "had been contacted by organiser Fresh Air Festival Co for its co-operation." Fresh Air Festival President VINIT LERTRATTANACHAI confirmed that the company "had signed a contract with Ferguson" (BANGKOK POST, 2/5).
London Times' RORY SMITH: "Easy to laugh at Beckham, Miami, MLS. But league is growing, standard improving, and players will be tempted by idea of living in Miami."
Daily Telegraph's PAUL HAYWARD: "If modern sport is largely PR, Kevin Pietersen is rumbling towards Lord's on a tank, throwing flowers to the public. ECB response?
London Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "Boycotting Omega event in Sochi tonight in solidarity with brave stand taken by @charliesale in London."
London Telegraph's SIMON HART: ''Just checked into Sochi hotel. 2hrs to check in. Room has no lightbulbs and TV and phone don't work. London 2012 seems a long time ago."
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