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Volume 10 No. 25

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The Korea Baseball Organization "finally gave the green light to the creation" of a 10th club on Tuesday, giving in to "months of pressure by players, who recently resumed threatening a host of collective actions" including boycotting the upcoming World Baseball Classic, according to Moon Gwang-lip of the KOREA JOONGANG DAILY. The decision to create a 10th team, "reached unanimously at a hurriedly arranged KBO directors' meeting, was made hours before the Golden Glove award ceremony," which the Korea Professional Baseball Players’ Association had also threatened to skip. The KBO said in a statement: "Currently, our country has not had a sufficient environment to create a 10th baseball club. But to resolve the imbalance in the operation of the league and consider the hopes of the baseball community and fans, we decided to approach the issue from a broader point of view and create a 10th club early." When exactly the 10th team will debut "has yet to be determined," but officials said that it would likely be in '15 (KOREA JOONGANG DAILY, 12/12). In Seoul, Kang Seung-woo noted the KBO "will soon receive applications for the new team, and a board meeting will decide on it by early next year after evaluating the candidates." The city of Suwon "is teaming up" with telecom giant KT, while North Jeolla province and constructor Booyoung Group "are competing to provide a home" for the 10th club (KOREA TIMES, 12/11).

The Indonesian government "set up a taskforce Tuesday to deal with possible sanctions from FIFA following its failure to merge two rival football associations" by the Monday deadline, according to the AP. Acting Youth and Sports Minister Agung Laksono said that the five-member team "will consult with the world governing body." Laksono said, "This team will begin work [Tuesday night], to with FIFA in order to avoid sanction against Indonesia." He added that the team also would "discuss a possible takeover by the government in accordance with the law on national sports system." Laksono: "This is needed to prevent intervention by the government, because we have the law, but FIFA has its own rules. Therefore the taskforce has to consult first with FIFA and AFC [Asian Football Confederation]" (AP, 12/11). REUTERS' Patrick Johnston noted AFC exec committee member Prince Ali bin Al Hussein said that the two rival factions, the Indonesia FA (PSSI) and Indonesia Football Rescue Committee (KPSI), which are "set to land Indonesia a FIFA suspension," only have "themselves to blame for the mess." Ali, also the FIFA VP, believes that the two organizations "should have patched up their differences long ago." Ali said, "I have seen how important football is to the people of Indonesia and this issue has to be sorted out. You cannot have two leagues in one country, and that is a fundamental issue that has to be resolved" (REUTERS, 12/11).

India's Sports Ministry gave the Athletic Federation of India two month's time to "amend its constitution and hold re-elections" for president, secretary and treasurer, according to the PTI. In a letter to the AFI, the ministry had "drawn its attention to a few contentious clauses in its constitution and asked it to hold re-elections for a few particular posts." A Sports Ministry statement said, "The AFI has been directed to amend its constitution to delete Article XIV(b)(1) and hold elections to the three posts de-novo. They have been advised that if the above action is not carried out within the period of 60 days, or 28 February 2013, whichever is earlier, the recognition to AFI shall stand withdrawn without any further notice" (PTI, 12/11). The IANS reported Sports Secretary Pradip Deb said that the ministry has "strong reservations about the manner in which the election was held for the three key posts." Deb: "We have asked the AFI to conduct fresh elections for only three key posts. We have no problems about other posts" (IANS, 12/11).

The new leadership of the Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) "can now get on with the job of turning around the country’s recent woes in the sport," according to Ami Afriatni of the JAKARTA GLOBE. PBSI newly-elected President Gita Wirjawan will be inaugurated on Friday and "soon face a pile of homework." PBSI spokesperson Ricky Subagja said, "We have yet to a discuss a contract extension with our main sponsor, Yonex, and with other sponsors. We have to wait for the inauguration before we can officially work." Gita, also the country’s trade minister, was elected as the new PBSI president in September at a general meeting but was "forced to wait to assume his new role." Election rival Icuk Sugiarto believed he had been cheated and brought the case to the Indonesia Sports Arbitration Body (JAKARTA GLOBE, 12/11).

The Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) "has rejected the WorldTour application of Russian cycling team Katusha as it names the final ten teams to be granted ProTeam registration for '13," according to NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG. The UCI "gave no explanation as to why the Russian team ranked second in this year's standings were not granted an automatic spot for next season's leading races." The decision by the UCI means the Russian team will need invitations to take part in the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia, the Vuelta a España and several top one-day and one-week races in '13 (NZZ, 12/11). REUTERS' Julien Pretot reported the UCI said that "the move was made by the independent licence commission, which makes its decisions on sporting, ethical, administrative and financial grounds." The Katusha team said in a statement, "At the present moment Katusha has no information regarding the reasons for the decision of the UCI. Team management, riders and staff are extremely surprised by the lack of justification for such a decision." Katusha added: "The UCI violates the canons of sports ethics and causes irreparable moral and psychological harm to the athletes before the start of the new season" (REUTERS, 12/11).

The Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed that it has been in discussions with Omega Pharma-QuickStep Owner Zdenek Bakala and his business partner Bessel Kok since late '11 about the possible development of the professional road cycling calendar. These discussions have included their potential financial investment in a new joint venture company with the UCI and other cycling stakeholders that would promote and organize elements of this new calendar. The possible development of the professional road cycling calendar will be subject to comments from the wide-ranging consultation, "A bright future for cycling," that will involve all the stakeholders in the sport and which will take place in the first quarter of '13. No agreement has been reached on the reforms that will take place to the calendar and as such any media reports about the future of the calendar are pure speculation at this stage (UCI).

The PGA has established a branded golf academy at China's Mission Hills Golf Resort. PGA CEO Sandy Jones officially opened the academy, located in the southern city of Dongguan (PGA). ... The sports court of the German Football Federation (DFB) "has decided to ban 2nd Bundesliga club Dynamo Dresden from competing in the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) during the '13-14 season." The reason for the decision "has been repeated riots involving Dynamo fans." Dynamo Dresden Managing Dir Christian Müller said, "This is an economically crucial decision. The verdict is, in the sense of the social problems, not helpful" (FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, 12/10). ... Cricket South Africa will soon -- possibly as early as next year -- "appoint a black African selector" in accordance with its transformation policy, in an attempt "to better represent the country's demographics." South Africa's population is more than 80% black African, but they are "largely under-represented in cricket." Former fast bowler Makhaya Ntini "is the frontrunner for the position, even after his criticism of the team make-up ahead of the Australia tour" (PAKISTAN TODAY, 12/11).