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Volume 6 No. 214

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The Int'l Cricket Council is "blessing a new venture with ambitions to create a league of teams" in big U.S. cities, according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The new push in the country is built around Twenty20, the three-hour short form of the game "generating such popularity" in south Asia that the Indian Premier League is valued at around $3B. The new venture's organizers, Cricket Holdings America, will "launch a tender offering six team franchises" later this month for those willing to pay $40M. Half the money will go toward staging a Twenty20 tournament in N.Y. in June. A regular league competition would also begin in '13, played "on artificial pitches in temporary venues." CHA expects bids from India -- including teams from the IPL -- as well as from the U.S. and the U.K. It "claims to have the backing of 200 of the world’s leading players." ICC Regional Development Manager Tim Anderson said, "It's certainly a nut that can be cracked. There hasn't been a commercial venture into the U.S. that has had the support of one of our full members, and there is significant private investment in the league" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/5).

Organizers of the Korean F1 Grand Prix "face the monumental task of plugging a gaping hole in its bottom line and turning its finances around," according to Jung Min-ho of the KOREA TIMES. Two of the race's main sponsors have "pulled out, with the deficit estimated to reach 30B won ($27M)." Last year, the race lost 60B won ($54M). The contract to hold the F1 competition is until '16, but "it appears to be a toss-up whether it will make ends meet, let alone turn a profit." The organizing committee did not have any positive answers, but one of its senior officials defended the grand prix by saying its "long-term effects are more important than its bottom line." Korean F1 Grand Prix Organizing Committee Secretary General Park Jong-moon said, "Having worked in the sports industry for more than 30 years, I learned that operating a big sports event at a loss is inevitable. Even the 1988 Seoul Olympics was a money-losing event. It is worthwhile, considering other effects that were far greater than profit" (KOREA TIMES, 10/7).

FIFA referees Pratap Singh, CR Srikrishna and MB Santosh Kumar "signed a professional contract, the first of its kind in India," with the All India Football Federation at the Football House, according to Arani Basu of TNN. This is the first time any referee has been brought under a contract system. Head of Referees Goutam Kar said, "It is an epoch making day for referees in India. This is a seven month contract which the three referees are being signed. They will get their monthly salaries and all other expenses except match fee will be taken care of by AIFF" (TNN, 10/4).

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse told the media that "his government was ready" to send a cricket team to Pakistan. The '09 Lahore terror attack is "yet to become even a distant memory," but Rajapakse "has reportedly given his consent to the country's cricket team touring Pakistan again." However, Rajapakse reportedly made it clear that "the final decision rested with the two boards." He said that it was up to the boards of both the countries to sort out the dates and logistics (PTI, 10/7). ... Officials said that FIFA has "postponed its disciplinary ruling on a South Korean player for his controversial post-match celebration" at the London Games. FIFA convened a disciplinary committee meeting Friday to hear the case of midfielder Park Jong-woo. The sport's governing body "failed to reach a conclusion" during its meeting. FIFA will seek to reach a ruling next week and report it to the IOC (KOREA TIMES, 10/6). ... The Australian Football League Players' Association said that "it is taking seriously any threats made to players via social media as the impact of free agency continues to bite on AFL clubs and supporters." Adelaide forward Kurt Tippett "has been subjected to a death threat this week after walking out on the Crows on Tuesday," telling them he wanted to be traded as several clubs circle the talented forward. The AFLPA has "reported the threat to police" (, 10/4).