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Volume 6 No. 212

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Indonesian Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng resigned after authorities launched an investigation into his role in an alleged corruption case, but denied "having ever received kickbacks," according to Samuel Rubenfeld of the WALL STREET JOURNAL's blog Corruption Currents. The Indonesian anti-corruption agency KPK named him as a suspect "in a case estimated by a government audit to have caused a loss of around $25.4M to the state." Mallarangeng said, "I have tendered my resignation this morning, and the president understands my decision" (WSJ, 12/7). In Jakarta, Tunggadewa Mattangkilang reported acting Sports Minister Agung Laksono said that Indonesia's two rival football leagues "must meet FIFA's imposed deadline to settle their differences" by Monday. Agung said that both the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) and Football Savior Committee (KPSI) "had to stick with the set deadline." Agung said, "No more fights, no more group interests. KPSI and PSSI signed the [Memorandum of Understanding], which is meant to settle the disputes. Respect that, otherwise our sports sector will suffer." PSSI Secretary General Halim Mahfudz "has downplayed the threat of sanctions." He said that PSSI "was not concerned with them and that the MoU was not in line with either FIFA or PSSI regulations." Halim said, "If we ... get sanctioned, we can easily appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 12/8).

TIME TO PAY UP: The JAKARTA GLOBE also noted three foreign football players in an Indonesian league "have complained of not having received six months worth of salary." Abdoulaye Camara, who plays for Persipro Probolinggo, asked the Indonesian Professional Footballers Association "to assist him and his teammates" Syilla Mbamba and Salomon Begondo with the problem (JAKARTA GLOBE, 12/7).

The ambition of National Rugby League club Manly Sea Eagles to host a game against the Canberra Raiders in China next year "has been called into question" following revelations the Sea Eagles posted a A$1.5M loss last year, according to Stuart Honeysett of THE AUSTRALIAN. Raiders CEO Don Furner "recently returned from a three-day trip to China where he visited prospective venues for the match," which was tentatively scheduled for round 11 next year. Although initially keen to play a game in China for the next five years, "it is believed Manly has gone cold on the idea." The Sea Eagles "have concerns over scheduling and whether taking a match there would be commercially viable." Furner said, "As an organisation we're still keen for the event, but it may be that round 11 comes around too quick for next year because there's still a lot of hoops to jump through." Meanwhile, the NRL has already "made provisions for the match in next year's draw." The league had given both clubs the bye in round 12 to allow for the overseas travel, and broadcaster Fox Sports "has also been included in the discussions." The A$1.5M financial loss has caused "concerns that taking a game to China might not be the commercial cash cow as was first thought" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/10).

UEFA "wants to ban the sale of player transfer rights to third parties," according to SPIEGEL ONLINE. The transfer rights of a player "should stay with his club and nobody else." UEFA "has submitted a corresponding request with FIFA." UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino said, "We all know that third-party ownership of players bears many dangers. It is time to regulate it and take a clear stance on the issue." Should FIFA not take appropriate steps, UEFA wants to implement a regulatory framework for its own competitions. Infantino said, "In that case, a transitional period of three to four seasons would apply." Currently, advisers, agencies or investors can purchase rights to individual players (SPIEGEL ONLINE, 12/6). REUTERS noted "the practice is banned in England, France and Poland but allowed in many other countries." It is "especially prevalent in Brazil" (REUTERS, 12/6).