Sports data company Genius Sports appointed UEFA's DANIELE GONTERI as its head of football (SPORTBUSINESS, 2/12). ... ANDREAS SEIDL will begin his role as McLaren F1's managing director on May 1. McLaren appointed the 46-year-old German in January (BBC, 2/12). ... THOMAS HITZLSPERGER was named Bundesliga side Stuttgart's new sporting exec, replacing MICHAEL RESCHKE, who left the Bundesliga side after just 18 months. Hitzlsperger won the Bundesliga title as a player with Stuttgart in '07 and "headed the club's academy until his promotion on Tuesday" (ESPN.com, 2/12).
People and Pop Culture
The conclusion of a medical disciplinary hearing into charges against former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor RICHARD FREEMAN "may be delayed until next year." The hearing was "supposed to start last week but has been delayed for private legal arguments, which are due to continue at least until Friday" (LONDON TIMES, 2/12). ... Former Arsenal Manager ARSENE WENGER will attend the Laureus World Sports Academy in Monaco next week. Also in attendance will be CAFU, FABIO CAPELLO, DIDIER DESCHAMPS, LUIS FIGO, ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO, CARLES PUYOL, MIKAEL SILVESTRE, PATRICK VIEIRA, FREDI BOBIC, KOSOVARE ASLLANI and ALEX SCOTT (Laureus). ... England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper GORDON BANKS died aged 81. Regarded as "one of the game's greatest in his position, Banks was named FIFA goalkeeper of the year six times and earned 73 caps for England" (BBC, 2/12). ... Tennis player NAOMI OSAKA has "split with her coach," SASCHA BAJIN, 16 days after winning the Australian Open. The Japanese 21-year-old "worked with the German for just over a year" (BBC, 2/12). ... Bahraini refugee player HAKEEM AL-ARAIBI, after "spending almost three months in a Thailand jail cell, walked back onto Australian soil on Tuesday to rapturous applause." He said, "I want to thank Australia. Australia is my home. I will die in Australia and I love Australia." A crowd of "about 100 supporters and friends gathered at the airport" to welcome al-Araibi (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 2/12).