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Volume 7 No. 149

People and Pop Culture

Argentine Superliga club River Plate will on Thursday name STEFANO DI CARLO its Second VP. The 29-year-old will succeed GUILLERMO CASCIO and become the youngest VP in the club's history (OLÉ, 10/9). ... Canterbury Rugby Football Union named TONY SMAIL its CEO. He replaces NATHAN GODFREY after six years as the CRFU's CFO (STUFF, 10/10). ... JAMES MURDOCH stood down as chair of Sky as Comcast declared its £30.6B ($40.4B) bid for the satellite broadcaster "unconditional." Veteran Sky directors, including MARTIN GILBERT and CHASE CAREY, joined Murdoch in standing down from the Sky board (LONDON TIMES, 10/10). ... Olympian KIRSTY COVENTRY was appointed chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022. Coventry, a seven-time Olympic medalist, started the "Kirsty Coventry Academy" with the goal of reducing drowning deaths in her home country, Zimbabwe (IOC). ... AARON LABERGE was named exec VP and CTO of the recently-formed Disney direct-to-consumer and int'l (DTCI) segment. He will be DTCI's first CTO and will report to Chair KEVIN MAYER (Disney).

COACHES/MANAGERS: La Liga side Huesca named FRANCISCO RODRÍGUEZ its new coach. He replaces LEO FRANCO (Huesca). ... J.League side Sagan Tosu "tabbed" assistant coach KIM MYUNG-HWI to run the "relegation-threatened team" from Tuesday, leaving existing Italian head coach MASSIMO FICCADENTI "in limbo." A day after it was reported that Ficcadenti was fired, the club hired Kim to take over. Ficcadenti's status going forward is "currently being decided" (KYODO, 10/10). ... Libya national football team Manager ADEL AMROUCHE resigned "just days before" the side is due to face Nigeria in an African Nations Cup qualifier. Amrouche said that he was "frustrated by working conditions with the team" (REUTERS, 10/10). ... Former Uruguay int'l GUSTAVO MATOSAS was named coach of the Costa Rican national football team ahead of its qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup. It is Matosas' first int' appointment, but the 53-year-old boasts extensive experience at club level (FIFA).

LIONEL MESSI, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group and PopArt Music announced a partnership for the creation of a new show to be launched in '19, in association with Sony Music. Created by Cirque du Soleil, the show will draw its inspiration from the footballer. Messi: "It feels both crazy and incredible that Cirque du Soleil will create a show based on my life, my passion, my sport" (Cirque du Soleil). ... PAUL POGBA will pay for "NBA-style World Cup winning diamond-encrusted rings" for France's World Cup-winning squad. French Professional Football League (LFP) President NOEL LE GRAET said on Tuesday that the organization will "pick up the bill" of around €10,000 ($11,500) for the transportation of the rings from L.A. to Paris. The price of each piece has not been confirmed but the rings "will be made of 11 carat diamonds with blue sapphires and red rubies" (, 10/10). ... RUI FARIA has "moved to the front of the queue" for the League Championship side Aston Villa coaching job after THIERRY HENRY turned down an offer from the club. Henry informed Villa on Tuesday that he "would not be succeeding" STEVE BRUCE as the club's next manager. The former Arsenal striker is on a shortlist of candidates Monaco is "considering" to replace LEONARDO JARDIM (London TELEGRAPH, 10/10). ... GERAINT THOMAS said that he hopes whoever stole his Tour de France trophy from the Cycle Show at the NEC in Birmingham has the "good grace" to return it, adding that it is of "pretty limited value" to the thief but means a lot to him and to Team Sky. Team Sky had been displaying all three grand tour trophies around the U.K. following CHRIS FROOME's win at last year's Vuelta a España and this year's Giro d'Italia and Thomas' Tour de France win in July (TELEGRAPH, 10/10). ... The Russian Premier League said that two Russia football internationals under investigation over an attack on a civil servant in a cafe in Moscow should be punished "in the most severe way." ALEKSANDR KOKORIN and PAVEL MAMAEV are said to have "attacked" trade ministry official DENIS PAK on Monday, leaving him needing medical treatment. Russia's interior ministry opened an investigation into the incident (BBC, 10/9). ... BILLY JOE SAUNDERS was denied a license by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission and will "likely be stripped of the WBO middleweight championship" after failing a voluntary drug test prior to his forthcoming title defense against DEMETRIUS ANDRADE (London GUARDIAN, 10/9). ... CONOR MCGREGOR was "hit with a one-month suspension on medical grounds" following the beating he took at the hands of KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV at UFC 229. It is "common practice" for the UFC to hand out medical suspensions (London DAILY MAIL, 10/9). ... USAIN BOLT will "start up front" for A-League side Central Coast Mariners in a trial match on Friday and the Jamaican said that his future as a footballer "could be on the line." He said, "This will determine ... (what) the club wants to do with my career, so it's a very important game." (REUTERS, 10/10). ... BROOKS KOEPKA was named PGA Tour Player of the Year after a '17-18 campaign "highlighted by two major victories." Koepka landed the honor despite missing nearly three months with a wrist injury as he became the first repeat U.S. Open winner in 29 years and then triumphed at the PGA Championship for his third career major (AAP, 10/10).