A push "to introduce a 24-round season with two byes for each club next year has gained momentum," as the Australian Football League Commission "prepares to rule on its preferred fixturing option next month," according to Glenn McFarlane of the HERALD SUN. A number of clubs -- as well as the AFL Players' Association -- "has been in strong support for granting each club two byes, largely because of player welfare issues." AFL GM of Broadcasting, Scheduling & Legal Affairs Simon Lethlean said, "We have sought the views of our major partners -- the players and the clubs -- and we are now reviewing those responses. We haven't digested all their responses. We have had an initial conversation with the commission and the commission has given us the endorsement to go away and review those comments." The AFLC "wil rule on the make-up of next year's season at its meeting in mid-July" (HERALD SUN, 6/19).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
Three months before he will step down as managing director of Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfgang Holzhäuser "has once again called for a change of the Bundesliga schedule," according to the SID. Holzhäuser said, "I continue to call for a semifinal and final match to determine the German champion." The 63-year-old is not talking about full-on playoffs as is the case in German hockey and basketball. Holzhäuser: "Not everybody should play against everybody, but at the end of the regular season a semifinal between first place and fourth place and second place against third place should take place. This would shake the nation." However, he immediately added his proposal is unenforceable "because we Germans are conservative and football is ultra conservative" (SID, 6/19).
Several club CEOs believe that the National Rugby League and clubs "should consider supplying players with bodyguards to keep them out of off-field trouble," according to Michael Chammas of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Manly CEO David Perry believes that "security measures should be considered." Perry: ''I think the NRL should look at all options. I think there needs to be a total review of it and whether they invest in additional security or give additional resources to clubs to [stop] those situations occurring." South Sydney "are already using bodyguards." However, Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson does not believe that "the players need minders every time they are out." He insists that "problems only occur when individuals leave the group." Richardson: "We use security guards occasionally when they are out as a group but the problems don't occur when they are out together, it's when individuals split from the group." Bulldogs CEO and future NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg said that "bodyguards were not the answer." Greenberg: ''No, I don't think that really addresses the issue, to be honest. I think it's personal accountability" (SMH, 6/20).
HERE TO STAY: The AAP reported NRL CEO Dave Smith said that "the code's hardline stance against misbehaving players was here to stay." Smith said that players "will need to quickly get the message, because the penalties would not be disappearing." Smith said, "The bad behaviors that we've seen, they're not acceptable to the fans. They're not acceptable to the players. And frankly they're not acceptable to us. They won't be tolerated. I think you've seen strong action from us, strong consistent action" (AAP, 6/19).
Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hassan said that Bangladesh might lose its Int'l Cricket Council membership if the board "does not hold its election according to the ICC's guideline" (PTI, 6/19). ... The Asian Boxing Council (Abco) is against the Int'l Amateur Boxing Association's proposal "to allow professional fighters to join the Olympics." Abco President Pol Gen Kovid Bhakdibhumi said Tuesday that his organization "strongly opposes moves by Aiba to allow professional boxers to take part in the Olympics and adapt some rules that would endanger boxers including fighting without a headguard" (BANGKOK POST, 6/19). ... Muay Thai icon Buakao Porpramuk on Wednesday filed criminal defamation charges against ThaiFight Deputy Managing Dir Nopparat Poottharatanamanee, demanding 10M baht ($325,680) "for a slur on his reputation" (BANGKOK POST, 6/19). ... Former Board of Control for Cricket in India President N. Srinivasan "will attend the ICC annual meeting in London next week." Srinivasan "will represent the BCCI in three sub-committee meetings in the England capital" (THE HINDU, 6/19).