Year In Review: Qatar's 2022 World Cup Saga, Tokyo's 2020 Olympic Bid Top Asian Headlines
The SBD Global staff compiled the top sports business stories for '13 by region to be published in the final four Global editions of the year. Here are the top stories from Asia and Australia.
TOKYO LANDS 2020 GAMES: In the run-up to the 2020 Olympics bid vote, Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul marketed their unique strengths to the IOC and the world. Tokyo promoted its strong financial backing and government support, Madrid showcased its existing infrastructure and Istanbul leveraged its unique position as a bridge between Europe and Asia. Despite concerns over radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant as a result of the '11 tsunami, Tokyo, which hosted the '64 Olympics, won the right to host a second time.
HOT AND COLD WORLD CUP: Moving the 2022 Qatar World Cup to winter became a hot topic after concerns were raised regarding the country’s soaring summer heat. Talk of a date change for the world’s largest sporting event brought negative reactions from both the English Premier League, which feared a conflict with its season, and U.S. broadcaster Fox, which had paid $1B to air the World Cup during the summers of '18 and '22. In November, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that the event would be moved to November-December to avoid any overlap with the 2022 Winter Olympics in February.
IPL SPOT-FIXING: A spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League saw Board of Control for Cricket in India President N. Srinivasan temporarily step down after his son-in-law, Chennai Super Kings Owner Gurunath Meiyappan, became a person of interest in the case. After Meiyappan was cleared due to a lack of evidence, Srinivasan resumed his duties as BCCI president. The scandal resulted in Rajasthan Royals players S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan receiving life bans for their involvement.
INDIA'S OLYMPIC SAGA: The Indian Olympic Association amended its constitution in an attempt to end a year-long ban from the IOC over its elections of tainted officials. While the IOA’s new constitution bars charge-sheeted individuals from being elected, the IOC asked for clarification on a new provision that allows the IOA to refer matters to its internal Ethics Commission before the ban could be lifted.
AUSTRALIAN DOPING SCANDAL: At the beginning of the year, Australian Football League club Essendon and National Rugby League side Cronulla were both implicated in the Australian Crime Commission’s report involving players’ use of illegal peptides. The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s ongoing investigation resulted in the resignation of both Essendon and Cronulla execs. Essendon was fined A$2M for its involvement in the scandal, with Cronulla reportedly paying its A$1M fine in installments of A$200,000 over a 5-year period.