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Volume 10 No. 23

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The German Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) "raised the requirements for participating and prospective teams," according to Axel Gaiser of DER WESTEN. At the league conference in Bamberg, Germany, the BBL "decided to drastically increase the Wildcard fee" from €150,000 ($193,500) to €250,000 ($322,500). In addition, "clubs can only get a Wildcard once every five years." Phoenix Hagen CEO Oliver Herkelmann said, "The Wildcard was created to bring potentially interesting new locations into the league, and we have always said that we would have played in Pro A if we had been relegated." The league also raised the bar in other areas. The league "will expand its youth development program and soon require clubs to hire a third full-time youth coach." In addition, BBL clubs will have to have a practice facility in order to avoid substantial penalty fees (DER WESTEN, 9/30).

Two people familiar with the situation said that the organizers of a proposed 10-race series that Int'l Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid called a "breakaway" league "are working on a plan that would give the sport’s governing body an undisclosed stake," according to Alex Duff of BLOOMBERG. People, who declined to be identified because the discussions are private and ongoing said that the offer comes as sports marketing company Gifted Group Ltd. "tries to win UCI support for World Series Cycling after its first proposal was rejected." Gifted Group has raised €20M ($25.9M) from investors to start the series, and "wooed as many as 10 of the top 18 cycling teams with a promise they would split 64% of sales." According to a pitch to investors last year drawn up by London-based bank N.M. Rothschild & Sons Ltd., "investors would have received 26% of revenue, and Gifted Group 10%." One of the people said that Gifted Group has also "reached an agreement with a TV company to buy the broadcast rights to the series." Teams currently do not get a share of TV revenue. Garmin team Manager and President of the team's association Jonathan Vaughters said that the "cycling's competition model should be brought in line with sports that spread the winnings around" (BLOOMBERG, 10/1).

The Int'l Ice Hockey Federation "decided at a meeting in Tokyo to allow hosting bids of a coalition of two countries for its world championship," according to the DPA. The decision means that the "first obstacle of a host bid from Germany and France for the 2017 IIHF World Championship has been eliminated." Germany's Organization Chief Franz Reindl said that this is "a very good decision." The IIHF will award the 2017 World Championship at its next congress during the 2013 World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden. In addition to the Germany-France bid, Latvia and Denmark also submitted bids (DPA, 9/28).

Three Indian cricketers at the World Twenty20 who called senior Board of Control for Cricket in India officials to lobby for a former player to be the chosen selector from Central Zone had their request denied, according to Indranil Basu of the TNN. Even officials of the Enforcement Directorate who are investigating alleged irregularities in IPL-II, held in South Africa, apparently "lobbied with the BCCI on behalf of this former cricketer." However, the lobbying backfired as "the furious board members made sure the former player was not considered" for the post. Instead, former Uttar Pradesh player and Coach Rajinder Singh Hans was named the selector from Central Zone. They pointed out that there was "a clear conflict of interest" in players trying to influence the choice of men who would subsequently decide on their fates. One of the board members remarked in the meeting, "Students can't be examiners" (TNN, 10/1).

Motorsport governing body FIA "has not made a final decision about the F1 race at the struggling Nurburgring racetrack." The Grand Prix of Germany "has been included in the '13 F1 race calender by the World Motor Sport Council on Friday." However, the council "did not name which racetrack will host the grand prix." An alternative for the Nurburgring would be the Hockenheimring, which hosts the German F1 race every other year (DPA, 9/28). ... Seven schools in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Malaysia have been chosen to take part in a pioneer golf program at the grassroots level run by the Malaysian Golf Association and Education Ministry. Professional Golf of Malaysia VP Mohamed Zain Yusuf said that the program would be partially funded by the government through RM500,000 ($163,000) a year. Each school would pick a maximum of 35 students to join the program (BERNAMA, 10/1).

SPEAKING OUT: South African Football Association President Kirsten Nematandani has spoken out strongly against the growing incidents of hooliganism within South African football, saying this disturbing development should be eliminated without delay. On Sunday, irate Mamelodi Sundowns supporters tore down barriers and knocked down the club dugout in protest after losing 2-0 to Moroka Swallows at Dobsonville Stadium. Nematandani said, "Most people go to watch soccer as a source of entertainment with their families, and they need to be protected from these thugs" (SAFA). ... The Central Districts Cricket Association "is interviewing applicants next week in its hunt for a director of cricket." Central Districts Cricket Association CEO Hugh Henderson Friday "would not disclose how many people are vying for the newly created position or where they were from," but he said that the fulltime or part-time position "entailed the responsibility of overseeing and coordinating the game in the fragmented region (HAWKE'S BAY TODAY, 9/29).