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Volume 6 No. 213

Leagues and Governing Bodies

A Swedish court has ruled that "the Swedish Ice Hockey Association is allowed to prohibit Swedish professional hockey clubs from signing locked-out NHL players to short-term contracts," according to the DPA. The court, therefore, ruled against the decision of the Swedish Competition Authority that described such a ban as illegal. Swedish Hockey AB Chair Anders Hedin said, "We are very relieved about the court's decision." Hedin added that "the judges' decision strengthens the competition rules of the league." The Elitserien's ban on short-term contracts for locked-out NHL players is a preventive measure to avoid an unfairly shift of the league's competitive balance of power toward clubs that can afford to sign NHL players (DPA, 12/18).

The Delhi High Court asked the All India Football Federation to "follow National Sports Development Code in its Thursday polls, and asked the Centre to act in case of violation," according to the PTI. A bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said, "The sports federation is required to follow the National Sports Development Code, 2011."  The court also said that the irregularities, if any, in the election processes "be brought to the notice of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports which, in turn, may take the requisite steps" (PTI, 12/18). The PTI also reported the AIFF will be "effecting a major reshuffle," which will see induction of three new VPs as well as members from the five zones. However, the top two posts -- president and VP -- will remain unchanged (PTI, 12/19). The TIMES OF INDIA reported an application filed by lawyer-activist Rahul Mehra "alleged that AIFF's electoral process was flawed" for several reasons. AIFF's constitution has "undemocratic restrictive clause which ought to be deleted." Electoral college has neither been formed nor declared "contrary to the mandate of the Sports Code." Nomination and withdrawal forms "do not conform to the model forms provided in the Code" (TIMES OF INDIA, 12/19).

A WELCOMED DECISION: The PTI reported the movement for corruption-free sports in the country, Clean Sports India, "welcomed the Delhi High Court's order." CSI national convenor BPV Rao alleged that incumbent President Praful Patel was "employing unfair means in order to get elected unopposed." Rao: "According to my personal information, Praful Patel collected blank nomination papers signed by probable office-bearers from the state federations. He will now decide who will get elected in which post and most probably all will [be] elected unopposed" (PTI, 12/19).

The global thoroughbred racing and breeding industry "welcomed the Federal Court finding in favour of the definition of a thoroughbred under the rules of racing," according to Brendan Cormick of THE AUSTRALIAN. Auction house Inglis Managing Dir Mark Webster said that the outcome "was important" because a finding allowing artificial insemination in the thoroughbred code, as is the case with standardbreds, would have had "a dramatic effect locally and destabilised the thoroughbred marketplace worldwide." Webster said, "Australia is the second-biggest breeding ground in the world behind the U.S. I don't think the global industry wanted to see the No. 2 player enter the AI space and, effectively, be disqualified from international competition." The court case, driven by former rails bookmaker and one-time Sydney Turf Club Chair Bruce McHugh, a successful breeder of thoroughbreds, "sought the lifting of the ban on the artificial insemination of thoroughbreds in Australia." Int'l rules state that "only horses conceived by copulation between a mare and a stallion can be registered for the purpose of racing and breeding" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/20).

Lebanon's basketball league "was postponed indefinitely as Beirut’s two rival teams -- one backed by Christian politicians, the other by Muslims -- fight over who has control of Lebanon’s most-popular game," according to Barbara Surk of the AP. The controversy between the Christian-backed Sagesse club and Sunni Muslim-supported Riyadi "is yet another sign of how the religious and sectarian tensions that have bedeviled the country for decades still have the power to paralyze Lebanese society." The latest feud "erupted three weeks into the season, which already had been delayed twice because of political interference as both teams pour millions of dollars into new players and coaches." Sagesse President Elie Mechantaf said, "It’s typical Lebanon. Basketball federation is just like the government. We have election, and the side that does not like the result decides to boycott. Shame on us, really." Sagesse supporter Ghassan Nalccor said, "This Muslim against Christian thing came from the war and went into basketball. They come to watch Christians beat Muslims and Muslims beat Christians, and not because they care about basketball. This is Lebanon" (AP, 11/28).

The Australian Football League "has asked Melbourne to respond to evidence, which could lead to the club being charged with tanking for draft picks in '09." The AFL said that "any charges that resulted were expected to be laid in late January, after the Demons have had time to respond" (AAP, 12/20). ... Tokyo 2020 announced that all participating int'l federations have accepted Tokyo 2020's sports venue plans for 28 Olympic summer sports and 16 Paralympic summer sports (Toyko 2020).