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Volume 6 No. 193

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Scottish football clubs on Tuesday night "voted against implementing stricter regulations that would combat racism and sectarianism," according to Tom Farmery of the LONDON TIMES. Ahead of the vote, the Scottish FA "had been confident that members would follow the strict stance on racism" demonstrated by FIFA and UEFA last month. But only 5% of the association’s 93 member clubs "backed the motion" at the annual meeting at Hampden, expressing fears "that they could be held accountable for unruly fans." Rather than a “zero tolerance” attitude, it was decided that "there would be no introduction of automatic sanctions." SFA President Campbell Ogilvie said the result was “disappointing,” adding that there will be a “consultation on a more robust set of disciplinary measures,” An SFA statement said, "Nonetheless, the members did agree in principle to continued engagement on the topic and to devise an action plan to establish a viable deterrent to such behaviour" (LONDON TIMES, 6/12).

Mercedes and F1 tire supplier Pirelli "will appear before an international tribunal in Paris on June 20 to answer charges of breaking the rules by testing in Spain last month," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. Motorsports governing body FIA said in a statement that "a notification of charges against both parties had been sent to the president of the tribunal." The statement added, "Pirelli and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team have been convened by the President of the International Tribunal to appear before a judging panel of the International Tribunal" (REUTERS, 6/10). In London, Tom Cary reported "there is some confusion" over whether Pirelli "can actually be forced to attend the tribunal given it is not a competitor" (TELEGRAPH, 6/11).

Spanish Association of Professional Basketball Players (ABP) President José Luis Llorente recognized Tuesday that the league has experienced "some difficult months" during the negotiation with the Spanish Basketball League (ACB) regarding the collective bargaining agreement, according to the EP. The negotiation's "point of conflict is the exploitation of the rights to players' images," but Llorente appeared "optimistic" that the negotiation "will be closed in a month or less." Llorente: "We are still negotiating. We have experienced some difficult months and after some intense negotiations, it was stuck because of the collective bargaining agreement and we had to call for a strike, which forms part of employers' history with unions. But now the sports associations enjoy better competition than in other leagues and for us it is more difficult to defend our positions." Llorente thanked Spanish Superior Sports Council (CSD) President Miguel Cardenal for "his intervention in this crisis." Llorente said, "We are continuing to negotiate, there is a small point to decide, but I trust that in about a month, it will be closed. I can't promise this, but despite the differences I am optimistic." Llorente said that the exploitation of players' image rights is "of fundamental importance." Llorente: "Teams live off this exploitation and the athletes also want something returned to them. When the athlete does not do well, he is alone, the club disappears and the only place of refuge is his association. What the athletes want is for the exploitation of their rights to also have benefits for them." Llorentes also "assured that the Spanish government does not take the sport seriously and the sport deserves better treatment from the country's leaders" (EP, 6/11).

Cricket commentators said Tuesday that "plans to jam mobile phones during matches and ban cheerleaders from the sidelines are unlikely to cure Indian cricket of the scourge of corruption," according to the AFP. Officials "announced an ambitious 12-point plan on Monday aimed at ridding the multi-billion dollar Indian Premier League tournament of illegal betting and spot-fixing scandals that have engulfed the game." Although some of the measures planned for future editions of the Twenty20 tournament "were applauded by commentators, others were described as irrelevant or difficult to enforce." Analyst Prem Panicker said, "Having cheerleaders on a makeshift podium during the game or banning players from attending after-match parties is hardly the cause of the IPL's problems." Another measure says IPL franchises "need to disclose details of their players' and support staffs' contractual obligations and remunerations -- to try to avoid any conflicts of interest." Panicker said, "These are easily achieved objectives and the board should have been doing this from the start." But Panicker "was among those sceptical" of whether India's authorities would support the Board of Control for Cricket in India's idea to disrupt mobile phone signals. He said, "This will not only affect the fans but also those who live around the stadium. Such steps require the approval of telecom companies, multiple security agencies and the government (also) has to be on-board." Commentator Sharda Ugra said that "the new plan should include greater transparency within the BCCI." He said, "The clean-up drive does not address the crux of the real problem... the most disturbing fact is that the BCCI is run like a closed shop." Former Indian all rounder and coach Madan Lal said the measures are "not a foolproof plan but the board is at least showing signs that it has learnt from its mistakes" (AFP, 6/11). The DECCAN HERALD reported Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's "alleged conflict of interest situation has not gone down well with the BCCI with its new treasurer Ravi Savant saying that he should immediately disassociate himself from the company" (DECCAN HERALD, 6/11).