The FA "has agreed to expand" the Women's Super League for the start of the '16 season, according to the BBC. Clubs from the new-look Women's Premier League "will compete for entry" from the '14-15 season, starting on Aug. 24. FA Women's Football Dir Kelly Simmons said, "This is a real milestone in the development of women's football in England." The Women's Super League "currently consists of two divisions -- an eight-team WSL 1 and a 10-team WSL 2." For the start of the '16 season, "one WPL club will join WSL 2, with another joining the following season" (BBC, 6/23).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
V8 Supercars "are confident of returning to a 28-car field" next year with three unused entries put up for sale, according to Rose Adaimy of the AAP. V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton on Tuesday announced "the start of a tender process for the dormant racing entitlement contracts (RECs), which were handed back by Tekno Autosports, Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport and Tony D'Alberto Racing before the 2014 season." Each REC "allows its owner to race one car, with holders also entitled to a share of V8s' end-of-year profits." The move "opens the door for new teams to enter the category, existing outfits to expand or previous entrants to return" (AAP, 6/24). FOX SPORTS reported the REC "only buys an entitlement to compete in the championship." It is "then up to the successful applicant to assemble their own team, either by starting from scratch or forming a technical alliance with an existing outfit." Warburton said, “This is a fantastic opportunity to compete in one of the most successful categories in world motorsport and we believe there will be significant interest” (FOX SPORTS, 6/24).
Documents prove that the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority indicated to Australian Football League side Essendon players "they had the chance to escape breaches of the anti-doping code without penalty if they co-operated, but also spell out the threat of four-year bans for dishonesty or withholding information," according to Peter Lalor of THE AUSTRALIAN. An email that was sent to the AFL and distributed to Essendon players early last year "reveals why there is so much angst at the club, which co-operated with the investigation." However, while Essendon and AFL officials "clung to the hope that players could escape suspension through a 'no-fault or negligence' defence, the leaked document spells out just how serious the situation was." The document said, "Any player that is found to have lied or deliberately withheld information from investigators about possible anti-doping violations will be taken to have aggravating circumstances and may face a four-year ban from sport in addition to other consequences that might apply." The "uncertainty surrounding the investigation" was highlighted by AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, who has indicated that "all communication with ASADA has ceased since the two organisations completed an initial joint investigation" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/25). In Melbourne, Jon Pierik reported McLachlan has revealed that ASADA has gathered "a lot" of evidence since "ending its joint investigation with the AFL in August last year." This suggests Essendon's players could face an "increasingly prolonged fight to clear their names." Justice John Middleton has told lawyers representing the club and suspended Essendon coach James Hird they need to "file an outline of any further evidence they have by Wednesday afternoon." Middleton has said that he "wants to set down a date for a trial on Friday and is hopeful of eventually dealing with the case as to whether the joint investigation by the AFL and ASADA was unlawful" with "some expedition" (THE AGE, 6/24).
Germany's Bundesliga "was with an average attendance of 42,609 the world's most attended football league during the '13-14 season," according to the SID. It was the league's second highest attendance number after the '11-12 record season in which it had an average attendance of 45,116. Only the NFL had a higher average attendance during the previous season with 65,338. In comparison to the '12-13 campaign in which the league attracted an average of 41,914 spectators, its attendance increased by 1.7%. Almost 13 million fans attended the 306 Bundesliga games in '13-14. The 2nd Bundesliga "was also able to increase its attendance." The league had an average attendance of 17,853, which represents a 5.5% increase in comparison to '12-13. A total of 5.5 million spectators attended the 306 games of the second division (SID, 6/24).
LEAGUE SCHEDULE: The German Footall League (DFL) "released the schedules for the '13-14 Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga seasons in Frankfurt on Tuesday." Defending champion Bayern Munich "will open the league's 52nd season on Aug. 22 at home against VfL Wolfsburg." The top match of the first matchweek "will be the game between Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen at the Signal Iduna Park on Aug. 23" (DPA, 6/24). Find the full schedules here. (Bundesliga / 2nd Bundesliga)
Cricket Australia Chair Wally Edwards has "tried to reassure non-Test playing nations that they won't be left behind when cricket's brave new world becomes a reality this week," according to Chloe Saltau of THE AGE. Associate and affiliate members of the Int'l Cricket Council met at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday and Edwards, "representing the 'big three' countries, addressed their concerns." Chief among them is that they will receive a "smaller slice of the revenue pie, while India, England and Australia will receive a bigger slice, although the pie itself is expected to be bigger on account of a much-improved media rights deal." The associate teams have "also been unhappy for some time" that the 2019 World Cup will be a 10-team event instead of the 14-team tournament to be held in Australia and New Zealand next February and March (THE AGE, 6/24).
The National Rugby League will commission a research project into the "effects of concussion on its players" as Wests Tigers backrower Liam Fulton on Tuesday received medical advice that will "help determine whether he can play the game again," according to Stuart Honeysett of THE AUSTRALIAN. Fulton had brain scans in Melbourne last week after being "knocked out four times while playing for the Tigers this season." There has been speculation Fulton, 29, could be "stood down for the rest of the year and his career could be over." Fulton could become the "second professional athlete this week to walk away from his code due to repeated head knocks" after Australian Football League side Brisbane Lions player Jonathan Brown retired on Monday. The issue is now "set to be the subject of a study commissioned by the NRL's Rugby League Research Board." The board has a "number of proposals before it, including one working with the medical research institute at Sydney University which would use MRI scans to look at brain cellular changes in players affected by concussion." Another from the brain institute, "also at Sydney University, wants to look at long-term effects" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/25).
The city of Edmonton has appointed TSE Consulting as lead consultants in its bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. TSE will assist Edmonton until the selection of the host city in Sept. '15. TSE recently worked with winning hosts such as the city of Lima for the 2019 Pan Am Games and Sport Event Denmark in its successful bid for the 2019 ISAF Sailing 2018 World Championships as well as IIHF World Championships 2018 (TSE). ... The Int'l Cycling Union said that "it is to introduce an immediate change" to its Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process, "ensuring that from now on all decisions pass through a committee." The change "comes in the wake of the recent controversy involving Team Sky's application for a TUE for glucocorticosteroids on behalf of Chris Froome at the Tour of Romandy in late April." Froome "was suffering from a chest infection aggravated by asthma" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/23). ... Keen to "convince the government on hosting 2019 Asian Games," the Indian Olympic Association "sought to present a united front," with President N. Ramachandran saying that "there is no division in the IOA top brass on the issue of bidding for the hosting rights of the Games." Ramachandran said, "It is a misconception that the IOA is divided on the issue of 2019 Asian Games bid. I want to make it clear that there is no difference of opinion between the president and secretary general vis-a-vis Asian Games. There was no misunderstanding either" (PTI, 6/24). ... German fourth-tier football club Wattenscheid 09 has successfully completed cooperation talks with Turkish top-flight side Galatasaray. Galatasaray announced at a press conference on Tuesday that it will financially and athletically support the club for the next five years (SID, 6/24).