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Volume 6 No. 212

Leagues and Governing Bodies

FIFA "is among protesters’ targets as Brazilians stage the country’s biggest street demonstrations in two decades," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke said that "being the focus of fury goes hand in hand with running the world’s most-popular sport." Valcke said, "I don’t think the goal of FIFA is to be loved by the world. As long as you have this responsibility to protect the game, to make decisions which are not always the nicest ones for some people, I’m not sure you can avoid criticism." The scale of the protests "has been a surprise to FIFA," where contingency planning before the tournament did not foresee such opposition. Valcke said, "We had no indication that would happen, and definitely no indication that it would reach such a level." He said that "he recognizes his organization has an image problem." In Brazil, protesters "are angered at FIFA’s demand for tax exemptions for corporate partners" such as Coca-Cola Co. and adidas AG, and hosting requirements that "needed the Brazilian parliament to pass special legislation." Romario, who played on Brazil’s 1994 World Cup-winning team and is now a member of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, said in a YouTube video last weekend FIFA is “a state within a state” that “is going to come, install a circus without paying anything and take everything with it" (BLOOMBERG, 6/26).

Scotland's top division "will be formally named The Premiership, one of a series of decisions confirmed" at the birth of the Scottish Professional Football League, according to Michael Grand of the HERALD SCOTLAND. The new SPFL will end the 15-year-old Scottish Premier League and the 123-year-old Scottish Football League "as separate governing bodies and take control of four divisions called The Premiership, The Championship, League One and League Two." The SPL and SFL clubs are expected "to decide who will represent them on the new nine-man SPFL board, before that board is constituted and holds its first meeting." The board will consist of three "SPL" club representatives, two from the current first division, one to represent the 20 current second and third division clubs, a chairman, CEO and one further non-exec director. It is unclear whether Rangers "will put a representative forward to act for the second and third division." SPL Chair Ralph Topping, who had indicated he intended to step down from the role during last season, "is likely to be appointed as the SPFL's first chairman so that the new body has a familiar and experienced figurehead for at least its early months" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 6/27).

Australian Football League club Tasmania is pushing for one Melbourne-based AFL club "to commit to a 'semi-relocation' by playing eight games annually in the state, which also hopes to one day have its own team," according to Samantha Lane of THE AGE. No longer satisfied with Hawthorn and North Melbourne playing a total of seven games between them each season down south, AFL Tasmania CEO Scott Wade "has a plan for one to make a more profound leap over Bass Strait." AFL Tasmania tabled a new strategy this week, titled ''Building a Strong Future with AFL Football,'' which outlines its vision. While AFL Deputy CEO Gillon McLachlan would not comment on Thursday, Wade said he was ''confident that the AFL is willing to have a very serious look at this'' (THE AGE, 6/28).

Australia's preparations for the second Test against the British and Irish Lions "have been thrown into turmoil" after the Int'l Rugby Board intervened to order a re-hearing of a stamping charge against Wallabies captain James Horwill (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/27). ... The Board of Control for Cricket in India will "chalk out" the '13-14 season's domestic schedule during its Tour Program and Fixtures Committee meeting next month (PTI, 6/27). The furore over Laxman Sivaramakrishnan's appointment as a players representative in the Int'l Cricket Council refuses to settle with the Federation of Int'l Cricketers' Associations "now referring the matter to the ICC ethics officer for an independent investigation" (PTI, 6/27). FICA believes it has evidence to back up claims that last month's ICC cricket committee captains' vote was "unduly influenced." Former FICA CEO Tim May lost his place on the committee, with Sivaramakrishnan voted in (EUROSPORT, 6/27).