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Volume 7 No. 149

People and Pop Culture

The Australian Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA) "finally settled" on a new CEO to lead the organization into the "murky negotiations ahead that could shape the future of the game for years to come." After considering almost 100 applicants, RUPA appointed PRATAAL RAJ as CEO, replacing ROSS XENOS, who left to join Super Rugby side Melbourne Rebels. A corporate lawyer who has worked for the Int'l Cricket Council and the Australian Grand Prix Corp., Raj joins RUPA "at a crucial time," with World Rugby considering setting up a new global league of nations that would "dramatically change" the int'l game (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH, 10/15). ... Super Rugby side Crusaders appointed COLIN MANSBRIDGE as its CEO. Mansbridge succeeds HAMISH RIACH, who ended a 17-year tenure with the club to take over as the head of Ashburton District in early September (STUFF, 10/15).

COACHES/MANAGERS: Slovakia national football team coach JAN KOZAK resigned on Sunday after more than five years in the job, a period during which he got his side into the European Championships for the first time. Assistant STEFAN TARKOVIC will lead the team in a friendly match against Sweden on Tuesday (REUTERS, 10/14). ... Nippon Professional Baseball League side Hanshin Tigers minor league Manager AKIHIRO YANO accepted a promotion that will "make him the top team manager." Yano will replace former teammate TOMOAKI KANEMOTO, who last week "refused to accept a contract extension to take responsibility for the team's poor results this season" (KYODO, 10/15).

Former Sri Lanka cricket captain SANATH JAYASURIYA was charged by the Int'l Cricket Council with two breaches of its anti-corruption code. The 49-year-old is accused of failing to cooperate with an investigation by the governing body. He is also charged with obstructing the investigation by "concealing, tampering with or destroying evidence" (BBC, 10/15). ... Turkish prosecutors on Monday charged Barcelona player ARDA TURAN "over a brawl with a prominent singer," asking for the footballer to be sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in jail. The prosecutors charged Turan, who is currently on loan to Istanbul club Basaksehir, with sexual harassment, unlicensed possession of weapons and causing intentional injury over the fight with singer BERKAY SAHIN (AFP, 10/15). ... LIONEL MESSI's family "hit back" at DIEGO MARADONA after his "extraordinary attack" on the Barcelona player. Messi's cousin MAXI BIANCUCCHI branded Maradona "ignorant" over his comments. Lawyer ALBA LLANES said, "When the criticism comes from a drug addict, it has no value" (FOX SPORTS, 10/14).