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Volume 10 No. 22

Leagues and Governing Bodies

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that Ferrari "has a veto over who will succeed him as the boss of Formula One," according to Christian Sylt for CNN. The British billionaire has managed F1's commercial rights since '78 "but there has recently been speculation over who could replace him" as CEO. Ecclestone revealed that Ferrari "needs to give consent to his successor, a detail that is written in the prospectus for the stalled flotation of F1 on the Singapore stock exchange." Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo also sits on F1's nomination committee, whose responsibility is to "review and recommend candidates for appointments to the Board ..." according to the prospectus. A Ferrari spokesperson declined to give additional comment and said, "It is premature at the moment to discuss this topic further." As F1's controlling shareholder, CVC "would also be closely involved with choosing Ecclestone's successor" (CNN, 12/5).

Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball "have reached a basic agreement on a new posting system," according to KYODO. It "is thought that an agreement has been reached" after MLB requested a posting fee cap of $20M. The move "will be formalized once the two sides have ironed out the details." NPB Secretary General Atsushi Ihara said, "A draft is being prepared and hopefully both MLB and NPB can sign an official decision." The implementation of the new system "would pave the way for Tohoku Rakuten Eagles pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to sign with a major league team this winter" (KYODO, 12/5).

Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns said that he is "living a recurring nightmare after match-fixing allegations once again engulfed the New Zealand cricketing great," according to McKewen & Lawton of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Cairns said he was “100 percent in the dark” about the Int'l Cricket Council's reported allegations against him and two other former Black Caps -- Lou Vincent and Daryl Tuffey. Cairns said his family, in particular his mother and father -- former int'l Lance -- were doing it “tough.” Cairns: "The hardest thing is the impact on my mum, my dad, my family." Cairns "cut short his TV commentary duties with Sky" during Thursday's test match between New Zealand and the West Indies in Dunedin to "fly back to Auckland last night to be with his family and trusted advisors" (SMH, 12/6). In Canberra, Trevor McKewen reported former Test batsman Lou Vincent released a statement on Thursday afternoon "confirming he was one of the three players at the centre of the inquiry and he would co-operate with officials." The statement read, ''I wish to let everyone know that I am co-operating with an ongoing ICC anti-corruption investigation that has been made public today. This investigation is bound by a number of rules and regulations that mean I am unable to make any further public comment." Cairns has "previously successfully defended match-fixing allegations." He sued Indian cricket official Lalit Modi in the London High Court last year. Cairns won a settlement of A$158,000 in March last year. The judge also ordered Modi to pay Cairns' legal bill of A$700,000. Modi was "unsuccessful in appealing the ruling in October last year" (CANBERRA TIMES, 12/6).

DARK UNDERWORLD: In Sydney, Malcolm Conn wrote the "history, tradition and pulling power of Ashes contests camouflages the fragile state of cricket in most other countries and the sorry state of its administration." Then "there is the game's dark underworld, which continues inducing players into match and spot fixing despite the many millions of dollars spent over the years on the International Cricket Council's largely invisible anti-corruption unit." Former London Police Chief Paul Condon identified India as "the engine room of match-fixing and betting in his inaugural report 13 years ago." Yet the tentacles "stretch everywhere" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/6).

TENNIS MATCH-FIXING: In Melbourne, Kate McClymont reported "the possibility of match-fixing" on the int'l women's tennis circuit "has been raised via telephone intercepts played at a police corruption inquiry." The New South Wales Police Integrity Commission played a call made on Jan. 30 in which a former Australian tennis professional rang one of the nation's largest punters, Steve Fletcher, telling him there is a ''rort in tennis." The former player, whose name was suppressed by the inquiry, "wanted Fletcher to wager on a women's doubles match at the Pattaya Open in Thailand" (THE AGE, 12/6).

BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT: INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL reported one of football's most infamous match-fixing scandals "is back in the spotlight" with the retrial in Bochum, Germany, of notorious kingpin Ante Sapina, accused of "being part of an international match-fixing network that shocked the game's authorities." Two years ago, Sapina and an accomplice were jailed for five-and-a-half years after "being found guilty of rigging over 20 matches." The case "was one of the first of its kind to reveal the extent of the influence of Asia's illegal gambling dens" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 12/5).

While expressing concern over the standard of field hockey falling to an "abysmal low" in the country, the Indian Supreme Court said that politicians and businessmen heading sports bodies "are causing harm to the games and should leave their running to sportpersons," according to the PTI. In "stinging remarks" on the state of affairs in sporting bodies, the apex court said it is a "sad commentary" that people who are the administrators of the game have nothing to do with sports and they run the bodies at the cost of the game. A bench comprising justices T. S. Thakur and J. Chelameshwar said, "Sports are run by private individual persons. Private individuals are controling the games in India. Can the game be held hostage by private interest?" The court was hearing a plea filed by the Indian Hockey Federation, which is at loggerheads with its rival Hockey India, seeking stay on the proceeding initiated by the Int'l Hockey Federation "to find out which of them is to be recognised to represent the country at international events." The bench added, "Government is unable to control the sport societies and you (bodies) keep fighting. Is there any federation which is not fighting legal battles in courts? In no other country such litigations are witnessed for controling the games" (PTI, 12/5).

The 2014 German Touring Car Championship (DTM) season "will kick off at the Hockenheimring on May 4 and end at the same place on Oct. 19," according to the SID. Motorsports governing body FIA "confirmed the dates of all 10 DTM races on Wednesday." The race at the Nürburgring "has been pushed back one week to Aug. 17." Four of the 10 races "will take place outside of Germany." On June 1 at the Hungaroring near Budapest; on July 13 in Moscow; on Aug. 3 at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria and on Sept. 28 in Guangzhou, China (SID, 12/4).

The Australian Football League "has confirmed there is nothing written in the 'Terms of the Deed' for James Hird's 12-month suspension that specifically states the coach-in-exile cannot be paid by Essendon during the period of his ban." However, the league "insists it clearly outlined the terms in conversations with Bombers officials after the public release of the penalties, and one of the conditions -- given verbally -- was that Hird could not be paid by the club" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 12/5). ... The Indian Premier League's Governing Council has "brought in a new regulation that states all cricketers -- international and domestic -- will have to be bought through the annual player auction only." In the case of overseas cricketers, franchises recommend the names of players they wish to see in the auction list. Now, "an identical process will be followed for the domestic cricketers too" (TNN, 12/5).