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FIFA Congress Votes In Favor Of Blatter's Plan
To Limit Number Of Foreign Players On Team
FACING OPPOSITION: Roopanarine writes Blatter is "likely to encounter stiff resistance from the European Commission, who have denounced the idea -- which would risk falling foul of regulations on free movement of labour and non-discrimination -- as illegal and discriminatory" (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 5/30). In London, Geoff Meade wrote FIFA's plan has been "condemned as illegal" by the European Commission. EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities Vladimir Spidla: "We are giving a red card to the 6 + 5 rule" (London INDEPENDENT, 5/29).
DRUG TESTING: In London, Vicki Hodges reports FIFA at the congress also "formally accepted the revised [WADA] drug code." FIFA in the past had "resisted WADA's blanket two-year ban for first-time doping offences, saying that the length of any suspension should take into account individual cases" (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 5/30).
Official Says On Umpires Will Likely
Not Be Used For Instant Replay
DRAFT MONEY: MLB Exec VP/Labor Relations Rob Manfred said that when MLB team owners and the MLBPA meet for the next round of collective bargaining, he "plans to ask for a fundamental change to the compensation system for drafted players -- a scale that limits how much drafted players can make depending on where they are picked." Manfred: "It's hard enough (for a team) to know who the second-best player in the country is. To then have to factor in whether you can afford to sign him just makes it that much more difficult." MLBPA Dir of Communication Greg Bouris said that the players "rejected a mandatory cap on draft compensation in the last bargaining round but expect to revisit the issue" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/30).
QUICK SALE: In New Orleans, Jimmy Smith reports 40,000 tickets were sold Thursday in 90 minutes for the October 26 Chargers-Saints game at London's Wembley Stadium. The tickets were "available to fans who were randomly selected from an initial large number of registered ticket requests." As a result of the demand, the NFL released an "additional 5,000 tickets for immediate sale." The league also said that there has been an "increase in the number of tickets that will be offered in the second sale of tickets to fans who registered in February, when the game was announced" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 5/30).
ON THE WAY OUT? In Ft. Lauderdale, Charles Bricker reports the fate of ATP Tour Chair & President Etienne de Villiers will be decided after the tour's Hamburg tournament's lawsuit is settled, "probably sometime in early August, and it's not clear if [de Villiers] will have his contract renewed even if the ATP wins the case." Most of the top-20 players "have made it clear they want other candidates looked at before consideration is given to re-upping de Villiers." Bricker: "Things look bleak for de Villiers' future with ATP. No one goes looking for a new [CEO] if they're satisfied with the work and direction the current one is taking the tour" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 5/30).