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Volume 10 No. 23

Leagues and Governing Bodies

U.K. Sport has announced a £27M ($42.8M) national lottery campaign to bring more than 70 major sporting events to Great Britain over the next six years, which "it believes will cement the legacy of the London 2012 Games," according to James Riach of the London GUARDIAN. The proposal includes 36 world and European championships. U.K. Sport has scored the athletics' 2017 World Championships, which it regards as the "jewel in the crown." Other "flagship events" include the 2013 Triathlon World Championships, to be held in London's Hyde Park, and Glasgow's 2015 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. U.K. Sports Minister Hugh Robertson revealed that the government "would consider a bid" to host the semifinals and final of Euro 2020, while a bid for a European Olympic Games "could be a possibility should such a competition emerge." Robertson said, "I want to keep the momentum generated by London 2012 moving forward. I don't want us falling off a cliff edge in the years to come, and one of the best ways of doing that is to ensure that we have a series of major sport events coming to this country. Without major events I think it is increasingly difficult to inspire young people to take up sport. There is no doubt that success at this level inspires people to take up sport" (GUARDIAN, 11/14).

The Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) "has entered talks with football Bundesliga clubs Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04 and Hamburg SV about a possible involvement in the BBL," according to SPORT BILD. BBL CEO Jan Pommer confirmed talks with several Bundesliga clubs about possible participation in the BBL following the example of Bayern Munich. Pommer said, "We have held first noncommittal, explanatory talks with Dortmund, Schalke and Hamburg. We informed the clubs how, in our view, the basketball project of Bayern Munich works, and what the league's general framework looks like." Thanks to the support of Bayern Munich's football department, the club returned to the BBL in '11-12 (SPORT BILD, Issue 11/14).

Former Scotland national team coach Craig Levein "has followed up on his threat to take legal action against" the Scottish FA over the terms of his £700,000 ($1.1M) pay-off, according to Michael Grant of the HERALD SCOTLAND. SFA CEO Stewart Regan revealed in Luxembourg Tuesday night that "the governing body had now received a letter from the former manager's legal representatives." The SFA have agreed to pay Levein the £700,000 "he is due for the remaining 20 months of his deal, but will do so in monthly instalments of £35,000 ($55,500) rather than a single lump sum." Levein's SFA contract "has not been terminated, which is understood to mean the monthly payments would immediately stop" if he "signed another contract to become a manager anywhere else before the summer of '14." Regan claimed that there had been "substantial" expressions of interest in the Scotland job, for which Gordon Strachan and Joe Jordan "have led the bookmakers' odds." He "will discuss the vacancy" with SFA President Campbell Ogilvie and VPs Alan McRae and Rod Petrie during the trip to Luxembourg for Wednesday night's friendly (HERALD SCOTLAND, 11/14). In Glasgow, Keith Jackson wrote Levein's action "is another source of embarrassment for Regan who was left exposed by the failure of the SFA's board to reach a timely decision over when to wield the axe." Regan said, "Craig feels that, as far as the process is concerned, he doesn’t feel able to carry on with the contract in place. He feels that he wants to leave and pursue legal action as opposed to just being paid on a monthly basis. As far as we are concerned that’s now the position we are in" (DAILY RECORD, 11/14).

The controversial benefit-of-the-doubt rule "could be destined for the scrapheap" after new National Rugby League referees' boss Daniel Anderson said that "he wanted to adopt a commonsense approach to help improve the standard of officiating next season," according to Stuart Honeysett of THE AUSTRALIAN. The former New Zealand Warriors and Parramatta Eels coach was "unveiled as the man to solve the crisis in the refereeing ranks with Tony Archer, retiring from his on-field role, and Russell Smith, stepping down as a video referee, to take up roles as technical directors." Anderson said Wednesday that "he was interested only in making subtle changes to improve the system, and that most of the howlers from this season emanated from the video referees box." Anderson "intends to canvass the opinion of NRL coaches on areas where the game can be improved" with a view to presenting a submission to the Australian Rugby League Commission for its final meeting of the year in mid-December (THE AUSTRALIAN, 11/15). In Sydney, Brad Walter reported "while several rules, headed by obstruction law, will come under review before" the ARLC on Dec. 18. Anderson "indicated benefit of the doubt was unlikely to be an option for video referees next season." Archer also suggested that "benefit of the doubt was unlikely to survive." Archer said, "It's obviously something that we need to review." Anderson, who has stepped down from commentating duties with ABC Radio to take up the new role, said that "he was ready for the scrutiny that would come in his new position as successor to Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper." Anderson said, "I'm walking into this with my eyes wide open" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 11/15).

In the light of FIFA and UEFA's different positions on the topic and the unanswered question about the systems accuracies, the German Football League (DFL) board has decided it will not introduce goal-line technology in the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga with the start of '13-14 (DFL). ... The Int'l Hockey Federation (FIH) has "rejected reports" that it has given affiliation to the rebel Indian Hockey Federation, insisting that Hockey India remains the sole recognized body to run field hockey in the country. In a letter addressed to HI Secretary General Narinder Batra, FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather said that there was "no truth to media reports that IHF has been recognised" (PTI, 11/10). ... The Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) is considering opening a hotline for riders wishing to discuss doping-related issues. UCI President Pat McQuaid said, "During the coming weeks the UCI will be looking into establishing a new open line -- a confidential 'hotline'" (BBC, 11/13). ... Rugby Travel and Hospitality has won the Int'l Sports Event Management Award for best hospitality. The award was presented to RTH for its hospitality operation at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, an event that has been heralded an exceptional success on and off the field (Rugby World Cup).