Ferrari President Luca di Montezemelo used the teams website to implore F1's teams and rulers to come together to define methods of saving money as the recession bites hard into Europen economies, according to Kevin Eason of THE TIMES. Montezemolo said, "The world economic situation and that of Europe in particular, is very serious and the world of Formula One cannot ignore the fact." He added: "We cannot lose any more time: we need to tackle urgently and with determination the question of costs." However, di Montezemolo plea will be "greeted with a certain amount of scepticism" since it is widely known that Ferrari will be the biggest winner if a deal is signed for a new Concorde Agreement. Ferrari is in line for the "lion's share of payments." as well as a seat on the board of a new F1 company. Spain's Banco Santander, the Eurozone's largest bank is one of Ferrari's most prominent sponsors and they just had their long term credit downgraded on Monday by Fitch Ratings (LONDON TIMES, 6/13). German website SPORT1.DE quoted di Montezemolo as calling for "a broader collaboration between the teams in order to negotiate a new Corncorde Agreement that includes a budget cap" (SPORT1.DE, 6/13).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
Outgoing Int'l Cricket Council CEO Haroon Lorgat said that "the world body will not consider the idea of incorporating the Indian Premier League into the Future Tours Programme as such a concession would mean creating windows for other domestic T20 leagues as well," according to the TIMES OF INDIA. Lorgat added: "The consequence of that (an IPL window) is what do we do with the Big Bash League? What do we do with other premier leagues - Sri Lanka is launching one, Bangladesh has one." The clashing of the dates for this year's tournament "has forced" some of the West Indies players to choose between their home Test series against Australia and the IPL. This could also be the case next time with New Zealand scheduled to tour England for Tests in a year that also "features an Ashes series in England" (TIMES OF INDIA, 6/13).
NBA Commissioner David Stern said that the league will consider limiting the eligibility of players on the U.S. Olympic basketball team roster to age 23 and under, while putting no age restrictions on World Cup basketball play. Stern said: "I think we got a lot out of the Olympics, we helped grow the game. We are in 215 countries whereas we were probably in 80 in 1992. But I think it's appropriate to step back and take stock of where we're going. And I do have some great deal of sympathy for those teams whose players grow up in a way that says I will play under any circumstance for my country regardless of injury to me and the threat of my career. And maybe those players are put under enormous pressure to play for their homeland and perhaps an age limitation would remove some of the pressure." NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said that he would consider following the soccer model. Silver: "For the Olympics only, it would be 23 and under, and then for the World Cup of basketball, just like with the World Cup of soccer, that competition would be eligible to anyone." But Stern did not put a timeline on the consideration of Olympic player age restrictions. Stern:"I think there might be a better balance that we currently have. And maybe we'll do nothing" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL).
Former Pakistani Olympicans launched a protest against the country's hockey federation claiming that its policies were hampering the future of the national team, according to PAKISTAN TODAY. Led by Olympians Naveed Alam, Saleem Nazim, Mohammad Saglain and Mansoor Ahmad, dozen of protesters "gathered in front of" the Pakistan Hockey Federation offices. The Olympians "demanded the removal of the incumbent" management of the federation. Alam said that "they would continue the protest for the next five days and would force the government to appoint a new body" (PAKISTAN TODAY, 6/13).
Cricket Australia and the player's union "will attempt to thrash out a resolution" Thursday as the team departs for a tour of the British Isles, according to Chloe Saltau of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Australian Twenty20 captain George Bailey "expressed his sympathy for domestic players whose lives are on hold because of the ongoing pay dispute" and said that a cricket strike "would be a disaster and a last resort." If the June 30 deadline passes without a deal, the union will "consider other options," including industrial action that could affect the World Twenty20, CA's Big Bash League, and the Champions League. Bailey added, "The players still have full faith that the ACA and CA will be able to sort out the differences they have at the moment and come to a conclusion." However, his main concern is for domestic cricketers "who don't know whether they will have jobs in their states next summer," and can not communicate with other teams "while the dispute is unresolved" because of a freeze imposed by the CA (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/14).
The IndyCar race in China scheduled for Aug. 19 was officially canceled Wednesday, and IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard "must find another event for the second-half of the season," according to Jenna Fryer of the AP. Bernard had been working with promoters in China's major port city Qingdao the last several months "to salvage the race." Despite an existing contract, new leadership in local government "balked" at the race. Discussions "began with IndyCar about moving the event to a new date or new location." Bernard said that when faced with a deadline "event promoters canceled the race." Bernard added that IndyCar is "evaluating what it can recoup from the existing contract" (AP, 6/13) (Tripp Mickle, SBD Global, 6/11).