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Volume 10 No. 24

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The controversial Australian Football League interchange system appears "set for another overhaul," with the league poised to introduce a cap on the number of substitutions before next season, according to Greg Denham of THE AUSTRALIAN. Clubs have been given three options to consider before the AFL Commission decides on changes in October. The options are a shift to a two substitute-two interchange system, maintaining the status quo of three interchange-one substitute, or keeping the system but capping the number of rotations at 80. The option most lawmakers favor is "believed to be the capped system." Any cap under 100 "will be a vast change to the way clubs use the system." The average interchange number per club per game has risen to 131 this year, up from 118 last year. Whatever outcome the commission determines, it is "almost certain" that clubs will have the ability to "use a substitute player on the field for injury assessment purposes," with the injured player "having to stay off the field for a specific time," as in 20 minutes in the case of a player returning after leaving the ground on a stretcher (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/30).

Australia Rugby League Commission Chair John Grant said that the short list of candidates for the vacant CEO role "has been cut to three" and that list does not include interim boss Shane Mattiske, according to Glenn Jackson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Grant remained "tight-lipped about the commission's eagerness to hire" Australian Football League COO Gillon McLachlan to the point of "not even admitting that he was one of the candidates remaining" on the short list. Grant did say that the appointment was still several weeks away, which means it is "almost certain the new CEO will not be in the chair until after this season finishes," because of the likelihood of a notice period needing to be served. Grant maintained that "no offer had been made to any candidate." Asked about McLachlan, he said: ''I can't confirm whether I've spoken to anyone." However, he was "happy enough to suggest that McLachlan is well-credentialled." Grant said, ''I think the AFL's been very successful. If Gill McLachlan has contributed to that, then he's done a good job'' (SMH, 8/30).

LOOKING TO CAPITALIZE: In Sydney, Stuart Honeysett noted Grant said that the ARLC was "in a position to offer an appropriate remuneration package for the right candidate." Grant added that the ARLC would be looking for "a strong leader who could capitalise" on the A$1B media rights deal to "help grow business." Grant said, "The key criteria is that they've got to have a really solid commercial background. It's about the footy on the field, which is at the heart of the business, but around that it's about growing a business" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/30).

FIFA President Sepp Blatter is against age restrictions for officials in football's governing body "although he would be prepared to accept a limit on the length of time they can hold office," according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. The 76-year-old Swiss said that he was also "opposed to standing areas in football stadiums, placing him on a collision course with both the Bundesliga and the national league in his homeland." Blatter said, "Capabilities have nothing to do with age. There are 70-year-olds who are young in the head." A draft revision of FIFA's statues includes a proposal to "impose an age limit of 72 on officials at the time they are elected." It would also limit the FIFA president to two four-year mandates and the exec committee member to three four-year mandates. Blatter said that he "remained unconvinced by the popularity of standing areas in Germany's Bundesliga." Blatter said, "In Colombia, the stadiums were rebuilt because of the world under-20 championship. Now families can go to matches. It is going really well. Everyone sits down and that is good, it's good for the safety" (REUTERS, 8/29).

FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke visited the Arena da Amazônia in Manaus, Brazil on Tuesday, according to The construction company in charge of the project revealed the stadium is 44% finished and Valcke said that the arena would be finished on schedule. Valcke: "Today we had a meeting with the governor and the local organizing committee, and the works in the stadium are advanced. If things continue at this pace, everything will be done on time." The R$532,2M ($259.5M) stadium will have a capacity of 44,000 and is scheduled to host four World Cup matches (, 8/28). LOC Management Board Member and former Brazilian national team striker Ronaldo joined Valcke in his visit of the stadium and was impressed. Ronaldo said, "I think that with a stadium like this Manaus will have a very definite chance of staging major international matches as well as shows and other events. This arena could become an important stage" (FIFA).

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) revealed its calendar for '13. The release comes four months before the start of the '13 Brasileiro and seven months before the Copa do Brasil. The Brasileiro will start on May 26 and finish on Dec. 8. The big change from past years will occur in June due to the Confederations Cup being held in the country. The CBF opted to have a two week period from June 15-30 where there will be no games played. (CBF). ... The German Bundesliga, which recently launched an English language website, "is expecting €70M ($88.6M) in revenue from its foreign marketing during the '12-13 season." Last season, DFL Sports Enterprise, which is in charge of the Bundesliga's foreign marketing, generated €50M in revenue. Eleven years ago "the league's foreign marketing revenue was zero." In addition to its English website, the Bundesliga "will also launch a Polish and Japanese website in September and December," respectively (, 8/23).