Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth "has called for the Int'l Rugby Board to clarify its regulations regarding pitch sizes for the 2015 World Cup after branding the decision to omit Welford Road from the list of potential venues as 'ridiculous' in the House of Commons," according to Gavin Mairs of the London TELEGRAPH. Ashworth also spoke with England Rugby 2015 officials on Thursday to "raise his concerns over the decision to axed the Leicester Tigers’ stadium from the longlist of venues because its pitch was deemed too small." Ashworth said that he "wants the IRB to state whether the pitch size criterion is based on the laws of the game." If it is, Welford Road should be reinstated as a potential venue because of its "iconic status" in English rugby. Ashworth said, "I am going to write to the IRB to clarify the regulations on pitch sizes and ask them to consider an exemption for Welford Road." Ian McGeechan, the man jointly-tasked with leading a performance review of England elite rugby, "has called for regulation to be scrapped from the Aviva Premiership for five years." McGeechan said, "If you want club rugby to be the best business then you give it time as a business to establish itself" (TELEGRAPH, 10/18).
FIFA said on Thursday that "four stadiums would suffice for Brazil to stage the 2013 Confederations Cup," following delays in completing the six arenas initially planned, according to the AFP. FIFA Communications Dir Walter de Gregorio said, "We need at least four, but we can use five or six." De Gregorio did not say "how many stadiums FIFA plans to approve for the Confederations Cup," a dress rehearsal for the World Cup. However, he did note that the number would be announced in São Paulo on Nov. 8. On the same day, details will also be announced regarding ticket sales, which begin on Dec. 3. FIFA "will then decide on venues" based on progress that has been made on stadiums in the cities of Recife and Salvador. The Confederations Cup will be held June 15-30. FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke "highlighted major delays in preparing the six Brazilian stadiums" for the Confederations Cup. Valcke: "Few stadiums will be delivered on time. Things need to be sped up for the Confederations Cup" (AFP, 10/19).
Bundesliga club Greuther Fürth "does not have to pay damages to its stadium owner after a court decided in favor of the club," according to NORDBAYERN.de. Conny Brandstätter, owner of the stadium and son of toy company Playmobil Founder Horst Brandstätter, "sued the club for naming-rights violations." The stadium changed its name from Playmobil-Stadium to Trolli-Arena on June 1, 2010. Brandstätter "saw the renaming as a violation of his lease contract with the club" and sued the club for €250,000 ($325,000) in damages and two-thirds of the club's revenue from its naming-rights deal with candy company Trolli. The value in dispute was €1.2M ($1.6M) (NORDBAYERN.de, 10/19).