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Volume 10 No. 25

People and Pop Culture

Gaelic Athletic Association Dir General PÁRAIC DUFFY will retire on March 31 after 10 years in the role. Duffy served as GAA player welfare manager from Jan. '07 and became director general in Feb. '08. He notified Central Council and the Management Committee of his decision on Wednesday (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 10/11). ... Barcelona appointed former player GUILLERMO AMOR as head of institutional relations & sports for first team football. Amor was appointed alongside former teammate JOSÉ MARI BAKERO "to take joint charge of the club's youth operations" in July. The 49-year-old will continue his work in this area, "with his new role part of a restructuring at boardroom level" that will see Technical Dir ROBERT FERNÁNDEZ "focus his efforts upon player transfers" (GOAL, 10/10). ... Serie A side Genoa confirmed former AS Roma exec GIORGIO PERINETTI as its new GM. A statement on Genoa's official website said that Perinetti would be unveiled to the press on Thursday. He spent 15 years in charge of Roma's youth sector before becoming the club's sporting director (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 10/11).

COACHES/MANAGERS: ANGE POSTECOGLOU made the "shock decision" to quit as Socceroos coach in November, "even if Australia qualifies for the 2018 World Cup." Sources said that the coach planned to step down because he "wished to take up opportunities that may arise at club level overseas" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 10/11). ... JUAN ANTONIO PIZZI confirmed he will "stand down" as Chile's national football team coach, just hours after his side was beaten 3-0 by Brazil to miss out on qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Pizzi's contract was due to expire at the conclusion of the qualifiers, and after Chile finished sixth in the 10-team group, he said that "there was no reason to discuss a new deal" (REUTERS, 10/11). ... Pro14 side Munster confirmed South Africa forwards coach JOHANN VAN GRAAN will join the club next month as its head coach. Munster has been searching for a replacement for Dir of Rugby RASSIE ERASMUS since it was announced before the season that he "would take up the same position with the Springboks" in '18 (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 10/11).

Former Portugal int'l LUÍS FIGO joined UEFA as a football adviser. The former Champions League winner will work with UEFA President ALEKSANDER ČEFERIN and the Football Division on matters including technical aspects of the game, laws of the game and the attractiveness of the sport. He will also be the leading figure of the UEFA ambassadors program (UEFA). ... Netherlands captain ARJEN ROBBEN retired from int'l football "after his side missed out on a place at next summer's World Cup in Russia" (BBC, 10/10). ... Former England and Arsenal midfielder PAUL MERSON is "set to make a comeback with Welsh fourth-tier team Caerau." The Maesteg club is awaiting int'l clearance for the 49-year-old to appear against Pontyclun on Oct. 18 (BBC, 10/11). ... ASHISH NEHRA decided to retire from competitive cricket after the first T20 Int'l against New Zealand at his home ground, Feroz Shah Kotla, on Nov. 1 (PTI, 10/11). ... The Ferrari Formula 1 team hired MARIA MENDOZA, an expert in metals and chemicals, to "help boost its quality control department." Mendoza's arrival at the team has "come at a crucial time as the squad ramps up efforts to improve reliability after its recent troubles." She has worked at Fiat since '12 and was recently head of Supplier Quality Powertrain EMEA for the Fiat Chrysler Group (MOTORSPORT, 10/11). ... The family of MARÍA DE VILLOTA said that it "ended litigation against the Manor Formula 1 team after reaching an agreement." De Villota crashed into an articulated trailer "while carrying out a straight-line test for Marussia at Duxford Aerodrome" in '12. She lost her right eye but "was able to make a full recovery from her other injuries." She died on October 11, 2013, aged 33 (MOTORSPORT, 10/11). ... Australian NICK KYRGIOS was fined A$12,840 ($10,000) and lost another A$27,071 ($21,000) in prize money on Wednesday "after storming off midway through his first-round match in Shanghai." Kyrgios "could yet face further punishment from the ATP" after it fined him for unsportsmanlike conduct (FOX SPORTS, 10/11).