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Volume 6 No. 212

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The Bundesliga has reacted to FIFA President Sepp Blatter's plan to move the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to the winter, according to BILD.

  • Bayern Munich Exec Board Chair Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: "No question, it would be welcomed if FIFA agrees to host the 2022 World Cup in the Winter months. A tournament in the summer is not doable in Qatar."
  • Schalke GM Horst Heldt: "We will have to play the season in a single calendar year, which will give the Bundesliga a good shakeup..."
  • Hamburg SV Sport Dir Oliver Kreuzer: "I say, 'Take a deep breat and get to it!' The fact that there are high temperatures in Qatar is not a secret. During the World Cups in Mexico or the U.S., temperatures also reached 45C degrees (113F) at game time."
  • Leverkusen Sport Dir Rudi Völler: "I see it as a huge chance to try something new. Changing the surrounding tournaments has been an issue close to heart for me. We have been throwing away the best football months, May and June in Germany, for years."
  • Nuremberg coach Michael Wiesinger: "That's not for me. A World Cup is the highlight of the summer and includes grilling, friends or public viewing. I can't get used to the thought of a winter World Cup and especially the change in league play" (BILD, 7/18).

The Australian Football League and Federal Government "cut a private deal in February" for the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority to "explore all avenues" to spare Essendon players from suspension over the systemic use of supplements last season, according to Wilson, Hooper & Massoud of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. The deal "is outlined in a document obtained exclusively by The Daily Telegraph." Its existence has outraged National Rugby League officials, who suspected the AFL "had received favourable treatment from ASADA and the Federal Sports Ministry shortly after the drugs-in-sport investigation was announced" on Feb. 7. When NRL CEO Dave Smith "initially learned of the deal he was fuming, raising it with ex-Prime Minister Julia Gillard in March." Dated Feb. 20, the document "informs the players, some of whom are alleged to have had multiple injections of AOD-9604, about their chances of receiving a 'complete elimination of sanction' pursuant to the 'no fault' or 'negligence' defences." ASADA said Sunday that "it had never offered a zero sanction to any athlete or support person." ASADA's investigation into Essendon "is being finalised, with an outcome expected next month" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 7/22).

Protesters who targeted FIFA and the Confederations Cup in Brazil last month "were justifiably incensed by the sight of the organisation raking in huge profits from a tournament that is costing them billions in extravagant stadiums while they struggle to pay for schools or transport," according to an editorial in the FINANCIAL TIMES. FIFA "cares little for the exorbitant cost of stadiums or for what happens to them after its circus has packed up and gone." Its answer is that "no country is obliged to bid for the World Cup in the first place." FIFA, a "wealthy but unaccountable club, has for too long carried on with scant regard for good governance." Its efforts at ethical reform, after years spent ignoring the corrupt behavior of exec members, "are piecemeal and laborious." It is "well behind the times in tackling racism and match-fixing." It was for many years "in denial over the blindingly obvious case for goalline technology" (FT, 7/19).

The Handball Bundesliga (HBL) "strikes a new path in the fight for attention and new sponsors and will play the opening game of the '14-15 in a football stadium," according to the SID. The game between defending Champions League champion HSV Hamburg and Rhein-Neckar Löwen will take place at Frankfurt's football arena on Sept. 6, 2014. The HBL announced its plans at a press conference on Thursday. Up to 50,000 people are expected to attend the game -- which would be a new world record. HSV Managing Dir Frank Rost said, "We want to push the sport with this event. In 2007, when Germany won the world championship, everybody knew about handball. I don't even want to describe how it is now." He added together we have to create a foundation "in order to keep handball attractive." The ticket sale for next year's game will start in September, and prices start at €10 ($13) (SID, 7/18).

Cuba "will allow its baseball players to play in foreign professional clubs, ending a 50-year-old ban" (XINHUA, 7/18). ... History may be written in Pakistan cricket when the non-cricketers "will become the members of the National Selection Panel as directed by the court of law." The Pakistan Cricket Board "has been ordered to enhance the role of the selection committee by Islamabad High Court's Honourable Judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui" (PAKISTAN TODAY, 7/20). ... Lebanon has been suspended by the Int'l Basketball Federation (FIBA) and "will not be able to participate in next month's Asian championships in Manila" (AFP, 7/20).