The future of global motorsport "is in the hands'' of UAE Automobile and Touring Club President Mohammed ben Sulayem after he was appointed by FIA to "oversee a task force charged with plotting a 10-year plan for the sport's worldwide development," according to Gary Meenaghan of THE NATIONAL. The road map he is being trusted to create "will be the first of its kind in the 109-year history of the Paris-based organisation and is targeting strategic, sustainable growth." Ben Sulayem said, "I took the job to chair the task force because it is a big challenge, not only for me, but also the FIA. It will provide the road book for the FIA to grow and develop. To develop an effective plan, it's vital to have full consultation with all the main stakeholders and allow them to have a say in the way motorsport is developed over the next 10 years." Earlier this year, Ben Sulayem "presented a comprehensive plan to develop motorsport in the Middle East and North Africa at the regional congress in Qatar," which was attended by FIA President Jean Todt. Todt "met again with Ben Sulayem at the recent FIA Sports Conference in England, where the task force was again broached" (THE NATIONAL, 7/30).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
Board of Control for Cricket in India President N. Srinivasan on Wednesday "refused to comment" on whether he has taken over as BCCI president again, "bluntly telling the waiting mediamen to stop 'hounding him,'" according to the PTI. Srinivasan: "I can't reply, don't hound me like this." There was "no official communication from the BCCI on the issue yet." Some BCCI officials, when contacted, said that "they were not aware of any such development." Srinivasan has argued that "he can be back at his job now" that the two-member internal inquiry commission has completed its report. The Bombay high court, however, had declared the BCCI's two-member probe as "illegal and unconstitutional." The Bombay high court order has "created a lot of confusion within the Board" and interim CEO Jagmohan Dalmiya has "no clue yet as to who will chair the working committee meeting" on Aug. 2. Dalmiya: "Who will chair August 2 meeting? I myself do not know where is the chair. ... Let me first understand where do I stand. ... I do not have any information officially. This, however, does not mean there is some difference with the BCCI." There are indications that some BCCI officials "are not too happy that Srinivasan has decided to attend the meeting which has again brought the spotlight on the Board." A BCCI official speaking on condition of anonymity said, "In view of the Bombay high court's verdict, it would be better if he (Srinivasan) shelves his plans of returning as BCCI president for the time being. He should wait till the matter is discussed and there is some more clarity" (PTI, 7/31).
MCA ELECTIONS: The PTI also reported Mumbai Cricket Association President Ravi Savant said Wednesday that the biannual elections of the MCA are "unlikely to be held before October." Savant said that he wanted to "hold the elections by April end but some members of the managing committee opposed the idea because they would have clashed with the Indian Premier League" (PTI, 7/31).
The Malaysian National Sports Council intends "to make it compulsory for athletes from all sports in the country to undergo regular medical check-ups following the sudden death of cager Jacky Ng Kiat Kee recently" (THE STAR, 7/31). ... Stung by the "stringent criticism from some shuttlers over the way player auctions for the upcoming Indian Badminton League were conducted recently," the Badminton Association of India and the league’s organizers "have barred players from talking to the media." A source said, "It has been decided that only BAI President Akhilesh Das Gupta and commercial partner Sporty Solutionz CEO Ashish Chada will issue statements. Clauses have been inserted into the contracts for officials and players" (PTI, 7/31). ... London Paralympics Silver Medalist H. N. Girisha on Wednesday accused the Sport Ministry of "not keeping its promise of giving him a 'Class-1 Executive Officer' job with the Sports Authority of India after his achievement at the Paralympic Games" in the U.K. last year. Girisha said, "Before the Olympics, the Sports Ministry announced that whoever will win a medal in London would be given a Class-1 Executive Officer job in SAI. But I still haven’t got a job" (PTI, 7/31). ... The High Performance Centre at the University of Pretoria in South Africa "will fast-track budding athletes -- thanks to a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous." HPC CEO Toby Sutcliffe said that the undisclosed amount will go toward "the establishment of an athletics academy." Sutcliffe said, "Eventually there will be 100 learners in the program, each covered for between R140 000 and R150 000 ($14,000-$15,000) per year" (SOWETAN LIVE, 7/31). ... Bodin Issara's club Granular "will appeal the shuttler's two-year ban by the Badminton Association of Thailand for his ugly on-court brawl with his former doubles partner Maneepong Jongjit during the Canada Open final" (SHANGHAI DAILY, 7/30).