SBD Global/May 30, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

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  • Swiss To Broaden Money Laundering Laws To Include Sports Officials From FIFA, IOC

    Swiss lawmakers "intend to broaden money laundering laws that target political figures to include sports officials" from FIFA and the IOC, according to Schwalbe, Panja & Bosley of BLOOMBERG. The legal committee of Parliament’s lower house "approved a proposal to expand Swiss banks’ scrutiny of accounts and transfers to include international sporting organizations," according to a statement published Wednesday. The decision, which follows that of an upper house panel, "is non-binding and requires endorsement by the plenary body in Bern." Switzerland is home of Zurich-based FIFA, the IOC in Lausanne and UEFA in Nyon. FIFA said, "FIFA has repeatedly said that it supports government measures to protect the integrity of the sport and the fight against corruption." UEFA said it "fully supports this initiative of the Swiss Parliament, as the safeguarding of the ethical and moral values of sport are of utmost importance." The bill before parliament "would give the government a more comprehensive legal basis for the freezing and restitution of illicitly acquired assets" (BLOOMBERG, 5/28). In N.Y., Neil MacLucas reported a commission spokesperson said that lawmakers in the lower house "will debate the committee's recommendation sometime this year, most likely in September." Switzerland, one of the world's biggest financial centers, "has been clamping down on money laundering, most recently freezing the assets of 32 people linked to the ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/28).

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  • Australia, England Cool To Backing Of BCCI President Srinivasan After Scandals

    A move by Indian cricket chief Narayana­swami Srinivasan to take control of the int'l game "is in doubt with Australia and Eng­land, who originally sponsored his promotion, getting cold feet," according to Peter Lalor of THE AUSTRALIAN. Cricket Australia Chair Wally Edwards, who has been in conversation with Srinivasan, "has relayed concerns about the Indian to take over the newly created chairmanship of the International Cricket Council at a conference in Melbourne next month." There was outrage in world cricket when it was revealed that the three boards "had decided on the move among a raft of changes that saw India, in particular, grab a larger slice of the earnings from world cricket, although England and Australia also profited." The deal to promote Srinivasan "was approved in February." However, the move "has hit an embarrassing hurdle with Srini­vasan’s character and position under fire at home" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/30).

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  • National Rugby League's Salary Cap Probe Could Widen To Neighboring Leagues Club

    The National Rugby League's investigation into "salary cap irregularities at the Brisbane Broncos could be widened to the neighbouring leagues club following revelations" that long-time player and official Andrew Gee "resigned as a leagues club director last month," according to Brent Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. While there is "no suggestion the leagues club or Gee have done anything wrong," the NRL on Thursday confirmed it had the power to "invoke a clause in its rules calling on football clubs to use their best endeavours to obtain documents from any affiliate." Broncos officials hope the investigation is "concluded swiftly, although suggestions the NRL could seek documents from the leagues club have the potential to muddy the waters." The NRL has "no power to compel the leagues club to open its books given it does not operate under its jurisdiction." However, under NRL rules the game’s governing body can ask for the football club to "use its best endeavours to help obtain documents that may be relevant to any investigation" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/30).

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  • League Notes: Qatar Stars League To Increase Salary For Qatari Citizens, Naturalized Players

    The Qatar Stars League (QSL) has "decided to increase the basic salary of Qatari and naturalised citizen players." The increase will see the basic salary go from 5,000 Qatari Riyals ($1,400) to 10,000 QR ($2,750) per month. QSL Chief of Competition & Football Development Ahmed al-Harami announced the increase on Tuesday. The annual basic salary as of next season will therefore be 320,000 QR ($88,000) and the maximum per month for the basic salary will be 26,000 QR ($7,140) (GULF TIMES, 5/28). ... Hockey India has relegated field hockey side Hockey Kerala to an "associate member from full member status because of alleged irregularities in its functioning." Hockey Kerala will have an "opportunity to appeal against the decision within 30 days" (PTI, 5/29). ... Indian police said on Thursday that 23 people "were arrested for their alleged involvement in betting" on Indian Premier League matches (PTI, 5/29).

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