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Volume 10 No. 22

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The Argentine FA "wants football without violence," according to CLARIN. For them, "the best tool that can be offered is the AFA Plus system." The system, which administers biometric entrance into Argentine football stadiums, will go into effect in August. As part of this system, each fan will have to be registered in a National Fan Register. Enrolling in the NFR will require fans to "register their name, picture, address, National Identity Document number and digital fingerprint." Argentine First Division side Estudiantes VP Fernando Cassalla said, "The system will be used in August, but it will be a work in progress, because there is a lot left to do." Only eight First Division clubs -- Lanús, Quilmes, Racing, Atlético Rafaela, Colón, Newell's, Arsenal and Tigre -- have stadiums completely ready to put AFA Plus into practice for the next tournament. Second division clubs Independiente and Unión have the facilities in place, but will not use the system initially (CLARIN, 7/5).

F1 "safety has been in the headlines since multiple tyre blow-outs at last weekend's British Grand Prix raised fears about drivers being hit by flying debris, and Sunday's incident will fuel concern about pitlane dangers," according to the PA. While teams' pit crew "routinely wear protective headgear, many others working in the pitlane during the race do not." Red Bull driver Mark Webber came into the pits for a routine tire change after nine laps but "his crew took longer than usual because of a problem" with the rear right tire. The Australian "was released without the wheel being secured properly." It "broke free and bounced into the oblivious cameraman, knocking him flat on his back." Later in the race Jules Bianchi's car momentarily caught fire and rolled toward traffic after the driver had got out while Paul Di Resta almost hit Jean-Eric Vergne in the pits (PA, 7/7). The London TELEGRAPH reported the cameraman, Paul Allen, "is understood to have suffered no serious injuries, although he is currently in Koblenz hospital under observation." An FIA statement read, "Paul Allen was hit on the left hand side. Remaining conscious, he was treated at the circuit medical centre and then transported by helicopter to Koblenz Hospital" (TELEGRAPH, 7/7). BBC radio reported "he had some chest pain and concussion" (REUTERS, 7/7).

The Gibraltar Rugby Football Union "has expressed bitter disappointment after the tiny British overseas territory's bid to join the European Rugby Association (FIRA-AER) was blocked by Spain on Saturday," according to Iain Rogers of REUTERS. Gibraltar's rugby players "were trying to emulate their football counterparts, who were accepted as members of governing body UEFA in May in the teeth of Spanish objections, but were denied in a vote of FIRA-AER members in Stockholm." GRFU General Secretary Chad Thomson said the organization had failed to win the necessary two-thirds majority "despite meeting all the criteria" for membership. FIRA-AER General Treasurer Jose Maria Epalza said, "Rugby lost and politics won today" (REUTERS, 7/6).

The Australian Football League tested the Hawk-Eye goal technology at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during Friday night's clash between Collingwood and Carlton. The technology was tested, but not used to adjudicate scores in the four MCG games (THE AGE, 7/3). ... Just days after breaking one of Sydney racing's most difficult training records, horse racing trainer Chris Waller "is poised to reopen negotiations to secure a bigger base in Melbourne." Waller "is keen to bolster his presence in Melbourne," and over the next week will restart talks with the Victoria Racing Club "at possibly doubling his stable from 10 to 20 boxes before the spring carnival" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 7/8).