Australian Rugby League Commission Chair John Grant "has made the astonishing claim that the 'pall' of the peptide doping scandal that has rocked rugby league is no longer a concern" for National Rugby League clubs, according to Andrew Webster of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Grant said that "he was comfortable with how the allegations were being handled." There "is deep anger residing within officials, coaches and players about the damage" that has been done to their reputations, yet Grant believes that has now subsided. Grant said, "There's no doubt that there is a general feeling in some quarters that this has cast a pall over the whole game, and that's not what we're dealing with now -- I think that's passed. Financially, Grant said that "the game had never looked in better shape" following last year's A$1.2B media rights deal. He said, "We've got A$43M ($44M) in the bank. We had about A$8M when we came on board a year ago." The commission forecast it would make A$284M in revenue this year, with A$323M by the end of '17 (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 2/22).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
Hopes are high that an upcoming joint congress "will be able to settle the protracted conflict" between the Indonesia’s two disputing football bodies and end the current dualism in national football, according to Irawaty Wardany of the JAKARTA POST. PT Liga Indonesia CEO Joko Driyono said, "It is our hope that the congress will end the dispute between the national soccer organizations." PT Liga Indonesia is the organizer of the Indonesian Super League under the Indonesian Soccer Rescue Committee (KPSI). In the latest development of the ongoing football saga, Youth and Sports Minister Roy Suryo announced on Monday that both the KPSI and the Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) had "agreed to hold a national congress on March 17 to talk over the issue." The PSSI runs the Indonesian Premier League (JAKARTA POST, 2/20).
UAE Rugby Association CEO Ian Bremner "is confident of greater player retention following this week's launch of the Natal Sharks Academy franchise." The latest addition to the UAE's expanding youth development program "will hone elite players" for the UAE U19 national team selection, as well as "giving aspiring youngsters the option of continuing their education in the emirates" (GULF NEWS, 2/20). ... With a bilateral field hockey test series planned for March-April, the Pakistan Hockey Federation "wants to enter into an agreement with Hockey India under which the party found to be defaulting will be liable to pay the other federation a compensation" of $200,000. PHF sources said that the federation "has sent a draft copy of the agreement to Hockey India for the series" (PTI, 2/20).