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Volume 7 No. 149

People and Pop Culture

A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers Owner PAUL LEDERER was elected chair of the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association, the representative body of A-League clubs. Lederer takes over from GREG GRIFFIN, the former owner of Adelaide United who sold his share in the club earlier this year. CHRIS FONG, a director of Brisbane Roar and an adviser to the club's "controversial" owner the Bakrie Group, was installed as deputy chair of APFCA (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 11/26). ... Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) President SHEIKH AHMAD AL-FAHAD AL-SABAH stepped aside from his role “amid an ongoing legal case” in Switzerland. He decided to “temporarily suspend himself from his role and responsibilities within … ANOC,” a decision that will take effect from Wednesday. He previously stepped aside from his roles as an IOC member and head of Olympic Solidarity (REUTERS, 11/26).

COACHES/MANAGERS: JOE SCHMIDT will "stand down" as Ireland's head coach after the 2019 Rugby World Cup and will be replaced by current defense coach ANDY FARRELL. Schmidt, 53, said that he "decided to finish coaching and focus on family commitments." He has been with Ireland since '13 and this year guided the side to its third Grand Slam and a first victory on home soil over New Zealand. Schmidt: "I feel that Irish rugby is in good hands" (BBC, 11/26). While many expected Schmidt to step down, "his decision to apparently step away from coaching altogether was a major surprise, with many having pegged Schmidt as the next All Blacks coach" (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 11/26). ... Ligue 2 side Sochaux hired OMAR DAF as manager to replace JOSÉ MANUEL AIRA, who was fired on Sunday. Daf, 41, has been the club’s reserve team coach since ’17 (Sochaux). ... French Pro A basketball side Limoges CSP hired FRANÇOIS PERONNET as head coach, replacing KYLE MILLING. Peronnet had been Milling’s assistant since the start of the ’17-18 season (Limoges CSP).

Red Bull Formula 1 driver MAX VERSTAPPEN "jokingly suggested he could serve part of a community service punishment" by attending FIA's prize-giving gala in Russia next month. Verstappen would have beaten Ferrari's KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN to third overall had he finished second in Sunday's race rather than third. Asked by Mercedes' race winner LEWIS HAMILTON whether he had secured third place, Verstappen grinned and said, "Two points behind (Räikkönen) -- but at least I don't have to go to the Gala." Hamilton replied, "Lucky you" (REUTERS, 11/26). ... Former Japan PM YOSHIRO MORI on Sunday received the Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service from World Rugby "for his contributions to the sport and role in Japan's successful bid to host next year's World Cup." Mori serves as the honorary chair of the Japan Rugby Football Union (KYODO, 11/26). ... ALEXANDER ALBON is expected to be announced as a '19 Toro Rosso F1 driver "in the coming days," having "completed extracting himself" from his Nissan Formula E deal (AUTOSPORT, 11/26). ... Irish rugby int'l JOHNNY SEXTON capped off a "memorable 12 months" by being named World Rugby Player of the Year. Sexton beat All Black BEAUDEN BARRETT to the top prize in Monte Carlo (London DAILY MAIL, 11/25). ... YANNICK NOAH launched an "impassioned attack" on the imminent Davis Cup revamp after his third spell as France captain ended in a loss to Croatia on Sunday. He said that he was "quitting the Davis Cup" and that the competition was "disappearing in all but name" (REUTERS, 11/25).