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Volume 6 No. 215

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Motorsports governing body FIA "will reportedly earn 40% more from F1 through the racing series' new Concorde Agreement," according to Markus Lüttgens of MOTORSPORT TOTAL. The new Concorde Agreement, which is supposed to be finalized in the coming weeks, "will bring FIA substantially more income." FIA's annual income from F1 is expected to increase by 40% to about $40M. Part of the sum will come from drastically increased F1 starting fees for participating teams. Instead of the current €309,000 ($404,000) flat-rate per team, the new starting fees will be based on performance. Red Bull Racing, for example, will have to transfer more than €2.5M ($3.3M) to FIA. The combined starting fees of all F1 teams are $16.6M for '13. FIA gets an additional $25M annually from the owner of the racing series' commercial rights. FIA "has leased F1's commercial rights in '00 for 100 years to Bernie Ecclestone's F1 empire" (MOTORSPORT TOTAL, 12/4).

A "massive infrastructure project" has been launched in Russia to ensure that the country is ready to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, according to Duncan Mackay of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. Russia 2018 Sports Minister and Chair Vitaly Mutko has held a series of meetings in Moscow and the 11 cities that are due to host matches to "see what they require." A list of more than a "thousand projects will now be drawn up and put forward for funding." It is estimated that Russia will spend up to $19B on preparing for the tournament, "half of which will come from the government and the rest from private funding." The list of facilities included in the investment program includes: "stadiums, training sites, team bases, airports, road infrastructure, hotels, security infrastructure, public utility and medical infrastructure, communications and information technology infrastructure, environmental facilities and the facilities required for the fan festivals." In total, the preliminary list for the investment program covers 1,020 facilities (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 12/4).

NEW MEASURES CONSIDERED: The AP reported that fan violence in Russian football remains “a concern and measures including a better ticketing system and security cameras in stadiums will be introduced to ensure fans are safe during the 2018 World Cup." FIFA World Cup 2018 CEO Alexey Sorokin said he is "disappointed" that Russia continues to be associated with football violence while admitting "more needs to be done to stamp out the problem." Sorokin also "struck out at critics" who have suggested that Russia and 2022 World Cup host Qatar won their bids unfairly. Sorokin: "We are clean and we didn’t witness any hints from anyone, certainly not exco [executive committee] members or those around them, of improper activities. If anyone had any information, any proof would be out already. It seems nobody has anything tangible" (AP, 12/4).

Former FIFA Int'l Relations Dir Jerome Champagne has suggested that those at the head of the organization "should not also be involved in the commercial side of the sport," according to Julian Pretot of REUTERS. The Frenchman, who left FIFA two years ago, has been "tipped to run for the presidency." Champagne was asked by France Football magazine how FIFA could become more democratic and he said, "Those who rule FIFA should not be in a position where they are accused of conflict of interest. To get there, it would be appropriate to...create a subsidiary company that would look after the commercial deals" (REUTERS, 12/4).

Australian Rugby League Commission Chair John Grant is "fighting to maintain the support" of the 16 National Rugby League clubs, according to Phil Rothfield of the DAILY TELEGRAPH. The code's "most-influential powerbrokers" will meet on Monday to debate Grant's performance in his first 12 months. Chairmen of the 16 clubs will be in attendance with other powerful figures including commentator and former player Phil Gould, "who launched a blistering attack on the game's leadership last week." Several club officials have "even discussed the possibility" of using clause 32B of the game's constitution to remove Grant from the board. It would be "highly unlikely to succeed at this stage" because more than 75% of a vote is required. One of the chairmen, who would only be quoted on the condition of anonymity, revealed the "growing anger and frustration in the game." He said, "John Grant is on notice. The clubs have had enough. He's been the one calling the shots, and every day a new problem emerges. All they've done in 12 months is a television deal." Grant said that it was "the first he had heard of any unrest" and was surprised considering they had been regularly consulted over the past year (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/5).

Kerala Premier League has now "bloomed into the biggest domestic competition in the UAE," according to Amith Passela of THE NATIONAL. The cricket league began with eight teams last year before expanding to 12 teams in the second season. It is now "expected to rise to 16 next year." KPL Chair Paul Joseph said, "The first year was a trial and now the plan is to expand the KPL beyond Dubai, perhaps with games played in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi." The KPL also has "received backing" from the Kerala state government and the involvement of the Kerala Tourism Department as one of the sponsors in both seasons. Joseph: "With two successful stagings of the KPL, we are now looking ahead long term. We have already started work on the next staging and looking at all possibilities of expanding it beyond Dubai" (THE NATIONAL, 12/3).