The Badminton World Federation said Friday that the sport will trial "line-call review technology at next month’s Superseries finals," bidding to raise excitement and "stamp out faulty decisions which have caused rows in the past," according to the AFP. Following "similar moves in tennis, cricket, football and rugby, players will have two challenges per match" during the Dec. 11-15 season finale in Kuala Lumpur. The system, using "ultra-slow motion cameras, will be set up on the televised show court." Reviews of line-calls, "or whether the shuttlecock has dropped in or out, will be judged by the match referee." Video reviews were "originally slated to be introduced earlier in the season but they were put on hold after some last-minute hitches." Line-calls are a "common flashpoint in badminton, with players sometimes accusing officials of making erroneous or biased decisions" (AFP, 11/8).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
German Handball Federation (DHB) VP Bob Hanning said that "he wants to scrap the allowances for national team players and introduce a performance-based system," according to the SID. Hanning: "We want to decide on removing the daily allowances for national team players. Players will only receive money if they have previously earned it." Players currently receive a daily allowance of €50 ($67) "if they are on national team duty." The new system "would be based on performance." Hanning said, "It has to be the same in the national team. You have to be able to pay bonuses for success" (SID, 11/8).
Faced with an Int'l Cricket Council inquiry for "his alleged role in a dispute with India," Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat said that he was "distressed" by the turn of events, according to the PTI. Lorgat said that he "was distressed on being asked to face a probe." Lorgat: "It is personally very distressing. But I had offered to be investigated because there was an allegation (against me). The less I say about this matter the better because its sub judice." Matters "came to a head recently" when CSA legal officer David Becker, who was an ICC legal adviser when David Becker was "at the helm of affairs of the world body," accused the Board of Control for Cricket in India of flouting the Future Tours Programme and BCCI President N. Srinivasan of "being manipulative." The ICC "agreed to investigate the matter, including Lorgat's reported role, even though Becker has maintained that the views expressed were completely his own" (PTI, 11/9).
The Lawn Tennis Association "has announced a dramatic cut in elite player funding, with all financial support being withdrawn from Britain’s doubles specialists and any singles players aged over 24," according to Simon Briggs of the London TELEGRAPH. The move "is expected to reduce the number of supported players from 16 this year to just six in 2014." The overall performance budget, meanwhile, will come down from £12M ($19.2M) to £10M ($16M) "in line with a process of retrenchment that is affecting all the LTA’s activities." As the LTA "braces for the impact of a smaller surplus from the All England Club" -- a "knock-on effect" from the 40% increase in Wimbledon prize money this year -- a freeze "has been placed on capital investment in local tennis clubs." Meanwhile, Commercial Dir Lawrence Robertson and Marketing Dir Adam Mason "have departed ahead of the arrival" of new CEO Michael Downey on Jan 6. What is alarming, however, "is how much of an about-turn the announcement represents" -- and "how it fits into the pattern of the LTA’s regular rethinks." It is two years since Performance Support Head Simon Jones announced that "funding would be extended to more players" -- particularly older players -- because “we are realising how long the journey is; the average age of the top 20 singles players is 27" (TELEGRAPH, 11/8).
The Scottish FA "will hope to resolve a potentially damaging dispute with clubs over the cost of league reorganisation when its board meets in December," according to Clive Lindsay of the BBC. Some former Scottish Football League clubs said that the SFA promised to meet the full £1M ($1.6M) bill for the June merger with the Scottish Premier League. But SFA CEO Stewart Regan "is thought to be adamant he has email proof that this was not the case." League bosses "have submitted a paper to the SFA outlining the costs." The Scottish Professional Football League, which was created by the merger, "is insisting there is no dispute over funds as it is up to the SFA board to decide how much of the cost it is willing to meet." However, the SFA "is unhappy that a six-figure pay-off" for departing SFL CEO David Longmuir "is included within the cost of reconstruction as well as the accountancy costs of the SFL's due diligence examination of the new league's viability" (BBC, 11/10).
Drug cheats "face a doubling of their bans for first offences to four years under a strict new code to be agreed at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in South Africa," according to Mark Gleeson of REUTERS. Tougher "sanctions, more vigorous testing and a drive to catch the cheats and those who aid them, is due to be ratified by stakeholders," including the IOC, sports federations and national doping organizations. Besides doubling the standard ban, the new code "will also exclude offenders from the following Olympic Games." World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President John Fahey said, "The athletes have demanded a tougher approach to cheats and instead of the current two-year ban, the penalty will be doubled for first offenders." There "will also be new testing procedures, including seeking to catch cheats by using police-style investigations and intelligence gathering." Emphasis "will also be placed on not only the caught athletes but the entourage around them, like coaches, trainers and sports scientists" (REUTERS, 11/10).
The Sri Lankan Cricket board is "still waiting for its Pakistan counterpart to pay an amount of $30,000 incurred while hiring a chartered airplane to fly their players out of Lahore" after militants attacked them in March '09 (PTI, 11/9). ... The Pakistan national cricket team is "likely to have a new head coach in place of incumbent Dav Whatmore before its full series against Sri Lanka in the UAE starting next month" (PTI, 11/9). ... In a "clear mockery of the sanctity of the press box," the Mumbai Cricket Association has "decided to accommodate" VVIPs inside "enclosure reserved for the scribes at the Wankhede Stadium during next week's farewell 200th Test of senior player Sachin Tendulkar" (PTI, 11/9). ... In a "rare opportunity," former India cricket captain Rahul Dravid "will be exchanging his views with some of country's finest investigators at a CBI function to deliberate on corruption in sports in the backdrop of fixing allegations in cricket" (PTI, 11/10).