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Volume 6 No. 214

Leagues and Governing Bodies

New FA Chair Greg Dyke said that "a successful England team and more home-grown youngsters playing for senior club sides are the two immediate targets," according to Mike Collett of REUTERS. The 66-year-old, who succeeded David Bernstein this week, "was speaking at a council meeting at the national centre of coaching at St. George's Park, Burton in his first official function as chairman." Dyke, refering to the run to the World Cup semifinals 23 years ago, said, "The one thing we all want is a successful England team and we haven't had any outstanding successes since 1990 so how do we get a successful team?" He added, "Some clubs will tell you English kids just don't have the same technique (as overseas players) -- lots of people tell me that's not true. The question is, why aren't they playing?" Dyke, the former director general of the BBC and more recently chairman of League One side Brentford, said that "there were issues that needed to be addressed." He said, "I spent the last three years being a club chairman and when you are winning you are very popular and when you are losing you're not. It's as simple as that" (REUTERS, 7/13).

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag said the racing series will impose a $3.3M budget cap on teams, according to Christian Sylt of AUTOWEEK. One of the top IndyCar teams "will be unveiled as a Formula E entrant by the end of the summer along with several based in the U.K." Agag: "We have a €2.5M ($3.3M) cap on the operating budget of the team -- anything spent on racing except the car. The chassis is almost spec but not the powertrain. It is not a chassis competition, it is an electric power competition. The manufacturers are calling us and saying we want to meet you so that you can explain to us how we can be part of it." He added, "There are now 18 teams in the pipeline and we are going to announce more before the end of the summer" (AUTOWEEK, 7/13).

The Int'l Rugby Board "will consider moving the June Test match window to July" as part of a plan to develop an integrated global rugby season, according to Bret Harris of THE AUSTRALIAN. The world governing body will look at moving the Test window at its next council meeting in November, "but any change would not come into effect until after the 2015 World Cup in England." The move has the support of the three SANZAR nations -- South Africa, New Zealand and Australia -- "because it would do away with Super Rugby's month-long break." Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said, "There's a lot of benefit in doing that for fans, for players and the game overall. It would be a very good outcome." The move would see European club competitions start a month later, "which would enable more domestic competitions to be played after the Christmas break and improve player availability for Test matches" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/15).

The National Rugby League players' union Sunday "reiterated its concerns over the scheduling of State of Origin games" and said that it would be interested in reopening talks with the NRL over a better way forward, according to Brent Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. Amid "a clamour of criticism over the state of the game, and the impact of Origin on the players and the NRL competition," Rugby League Players Association CEO David Garnsey said that the union's position had not changed -- stand-alone Origin games remained the preference. Garnsey said, "The only way to properly safeguard the welfare of our elite players, allow for adequate recovery, prevent burnout and prolong their careers is to have stand-alone State of Origin matches." Despite the RLPA's ongoing concern, change "seems highly unlikely." The NRL "is locked into a billion-dollar broadcasting deal with the Nine Network and Fox Sports, which guarantees the broadcasters 26 rounds in the regular season and midweek Origin games." Any change "would require the existing contracts to be renegotiated, a dangerous prospect for the game given its position has been severely weakened by falling ratings and dwindling interest" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/15).

Brazil federal prosecutor Roberto Gurgel "has challenged the constitutionality of the so-called World Cup law which was signed last year by Brazil President Dilma Rousseff," according to the AP. The law gives FIFA "the guarantees it says it needs to organize the 2014 World Cup." Gurgel "has questioned four articles of the World Cup law." In his filing, Gurgel contends that "the law violates citizens' constitutional guarantee to equal treatment, as well as provisions of Brazilian tax law." Put in place last year, "the legislation was delayed several times in heated debates in Brazil's Congress," where critics argued the national government was giving FIFA too much power. Local organizing committee spokeperson Saint-Clair Milesi said there would be "no comment on an on-going process." The prosecutor's office "confirmed the challenge on Wednesday" (AP, 7/12).

China "has slashed the budget for its National Games by 78 percent amid dramatically slowing economic growth and a government campaign to rein in public spending." National Games Organizing Committee Deputy Dir He Min said that spending on the 12th Games, to be held on Aug. 31-Sept. 12 in the northeastern province of Liaoning, will be kept to a maximum of 800M yuan ($130M). That's down from the original figure of 3.6B yuan ($586M) (SINA, 7/12). ... A General Administration of Sport of China official denied Thursday to the Global Times that the Chinese FA "will be made independent from the administration." The reply came after a report that both agencies "are going to take the big step in order to reform the often-corrupt Chinese football industry" (GLOBAL TIMES, 7/12). ... The Board of Control for Cricket in India "may reportedly come under increased scrutiny from the Indian government under a proposed national sports bill." Although the Indian cricket board is not answerable to the government because of its independent funding, it, however, "may become a public authority under the Right To Information Act if the bill is passed" (ANI, 7/11).