The Int'l Rugby Board "is to take urgent action as part of a last-gasp intervention to resolve the crisis that is threatening to derail the future of European club rugby," according to Gavin Mairs of the London TELEGRAPH. The world governing body "has run out of patience with a situation in which, despite more than 18 months of at-times torturous negotiations, there appears to be no prospect of an agreement" over the future of the European club competitions. The IRB is also "concerned that the dispute has spilled over into a seemingly escalating row" between the Welsh Rugby Union and its four professional regions, who have "threatened to join the English clubs in a breakaway Anglo-Welsh tournament" (TELEGRAPH, 1/8). The PA reported the IRB is "ready to call all six top unions and relevant club bodies to a summit meeting to broker a final solution to the European wrangles." No meetings are scheduled, but the IRB issued a statement on Wednesday night, "formally entering the European dispute for the first time." Concerned at the lack of a "common solution," the IRB pledged to fight for the "establishment of a truly representative pan-European rugby competition that fully complies with IRB regulations." The IRB "did reiterate the world game's governing body cannot support any cross-border competition unsanctioned by relevant domestic unions." That would "severely damage the likelihood" of a new Anglo-Welsh league, one of the counter proposals from Premiership Rugby if "there is no full European contest next season" (PA, 1/8).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
A Board of Control for Cricket in India panel headed by Ranjit Biswal on Thursday inspected the YSR Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium to "accord Test status accreditation to the venue." The four-member team visited the field of play and practice facilities, ground equipment, players' dressing rooms, umpires and match referee room, scoreboard, media facilities and other amenities (PTI, 1/9). ... The National Rugby League "has granted Cronulla an extension to respond to the breach notice" issued to the club for its '11 supplements program after it "was accepted the festive season could have disrupted proceedings" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 1/9). ... The Board of Dubai Sports Council has approved an 8% increase in the organization’s budget for '14. They approved a budget of Dh442.1M ($114M) for the year, rising from the Dh411.49M allocated for '13 (GULF NEWS, 1/9).