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Volume 6 No. 213

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Twice Asia No.1 golfer Jeev Milkha Singh "would like to see a truce between the Asian Tour and its rival OneAsia so the continent can realize its potential as golf's next big market," according to Amlan Chakraborty of REUTERS. For the second time this year, the rival tours went head-to-head last week with Asian Tour's inaugural Chiangmai Golf Classic in Thailand and the Indonesia PGA Championship on the OneAsia circuit. Singh: "I just hope that compromise takes place for the betterment of the game in the region. Because Asia is the market, I just feel that this is where golf is going to grow and get really big" (REUTERS, 4/3).

Football Federation Australia "trumpeted its best-ever crowd figures" on Wednesday with "impressive" numbers, according to Sebastian Hassett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The total gate clocked in at 1,666,942, "the highest in the history of the A-League." The FFA is "not only proud" of its rising TV presence -- up by 18% -- "but of its bouncing online footprint," which has seen a 40% rise on its digital platforms and a 105% rise on social media. FFA CEO David Gallop said, "The A-League is not just on the move, it's expanding massively in the mainstream of Australian society and capturing thousands of new fans live, on TV and in the digital space." Gallop adding that "the game's big strength comes from those who engage with it: under 35." It's "not as though the A-League hasn't seen a boom before." This year "has not eclipsed the most desirable benchmark of average crowds." The reason why this year "has produced the largest aggregate crowds is obvious." In the first four years of the A-League, there were eight teams. This year there are 10. While the numbers are strong, "they are not cause for celebration" (SMH, 4/4).

The Association of German Football Teachers (BDFL) "has pleaded for more patience for Bundesliga coaches" in wake of the firing of Hoffenheim coach Marco Kurz after only 15 weeks, according to the DPA. BDFL President Lutz Hangartner said, "He simply had no chance to deliver skilled work in such a short period. To build a philosophy and form a team needs time." He added: "We have no sympathy for this hire-and-fire concept. A coach is no faith healer. In about 80 percent of the time, the firing of a coach hasn't had a positive effect." Hangartner emphasized that "clubs have to review ahead of hiring a new coach if the candidate fits the team and the club." It could prevent a lot of anger and failure (DPA, 4/2).

The Football Association of Singapore said three Lebanese football officials were dropped from refereeing an Asian Football Confederation Cup match in Singapore and "are helping the country's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau" with its enquiries, according to Patrick Johnston of REUTERS. The FAS said it had contacted the AFC immediately and "replacement officials were sent to cover the match" in the region's second-tier int'l club tournament. The AFC said that "it would not comment on the situation." The CPIB said in an email, "We adopt a zero tolerance approach towards corruption, and matchfixing of any form is not condoned in Singapore" (REUTERS, 4/3).

India's National Anti-Doping Agency tested boxer Vijender Singh along with four other boxers on Wednesday, according to the THE HINDU. Following pressure from the Sports Ministry, NADA "was forced to go ahead with the tests." After the Ministry asked NADA to put Vijender through a dope test, NADA Dir General Mukul Chatterjee had been quoted in different media reports as saying that "NADA could not test the top boxer for a recreational drug heroin (narcotics) in an out-of-competition test." Boxers Jasveer, Ajay, M. Suranjoy Singh and L. Devendro Singh were the other boxers who came from the training base in Patiala "to give their samples" (THE HINDU, 4/3).

UAE investors are this week being invited to bid for two available club slots in India's top-flight domestic football league, "in an All India Football Federation move intended to revive the sport." Vacancies have emerged in the I-league after Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Air India were barred from next season's campaign after failing to fulfil Asian Football Confederation licensing criteria "on the grounds of their infrastructure and commercial viability" (GULF NEWS, 4/2). ... Scottish Football League clubs "will vote on league reconstruction" no later than April 19. The SFL "committed to make clear" its decision in the same week as its Scottish Premier League counterparts. SPL clubs will hold their vote on April 15 with the votes of 11 out of 12 top-flight teams needed to approve reconstruction plans which include the proposed 12-12-18 structure, "which would split into 8-8-8-18 after 22 games" (SCOTSMAN, 4/3). ... Rugby bosses have been warned that splitting the women's Six Nations would be "the end" of women's 15-a-side game. A two-tier championship "has been proposed, with England, France and Ireland in the top division and Italy, Scotland and Wales in the second" (BBC, 4/3).