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Volume 10 No. 22

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The German Olympic Sports Association (DOSB) "has also threatened consequences after the 'heavily criticized law proposal' of the Bremen State Senate against the German Football League (DFL)," according to the SID. DOSB President Alfons Hörmann said, "We also will have to consider what consequences [the law] will have on our cooperation with the state of Bremen. Despite the fact that it targets football, I would like to avoid Bremen when possible." The Bremen state government on Tuesday "passed a law requiring the DFL to contribute toward costs for police operations at the Weser Stadium as early as this year." Hörmann: "I view it as an attack on all sports. It will only be a matter of time until other sporting events will be questioned too" (SID, 7/23).

KEEP OUT!: BILD reported the German Football Federation (DFB) "decided to strip Bremen of hosting the Euro 2016 qualification match between Germany and Gibraltar on Nov. 14." The decision "was made in talks between the DFB and the management of Bundesliga club Werder Bremen." The reason behind the move "is Bremen's proposed new law." Werder Bremen GM Thomas Eichin said, "We can understand the DFB's reaction." Bremen "will likely not host a national team game over the next several years" (BILD, 7/23).

Organizers of a visit by NBA players to the "basketball-mad Philippines have apologised and offered refunds after an exhibition game was abruptly cancelled," according to the AFP. Tycoon Manny Pangilinan, whose company sponsored the scheduled match Tuesday night, issued a "profuse apology amid growing anger at the cancellation." The NBA team was "supposed to play 'five on five' games" with the national team, Gilas Pilipinas, on Tuesday and Wednesday. But on Tuesday night, before a "large crowd" -- some of whom had paid as much as $530 -- it was "abruptly announced that the players would instead just engage in practice drills" (AFP, 7/23).

Victorian Sports Minister Damian Drum has "hit back at suggestions" from Australian Football League side Collingwood President Eddie McGuire that "AFL is underfunded," according to the AAP. McGuire "called for increased investment for the sport." He said, "The Victorian government contributes to the AFL less than any other state I think at the moment." Drum said that he did not "know where McGuire was coming from." Drum: "The Victorian Government invests so much money in football. We have the best stadiums you could possibly hope for in the world. ... Our contribution to the major infrastructure builds in this state has been phenomenal" (AAP, 7/23).

VALUES QUESTIONED: In Melbourne, Caroline Wilson reported AFL side Gold Coast Chair John Witheriff has "questioned the AFL's values and accused it of a lack of courtesy in the decision to review the bidding system for development academy players and father-son selections." Witheriff, accusing the AFL of "going back on its word, has joined the growing chorus of northern club chiefs disenchanted" that the head office could redesign the "bidding rules for academy players just months before the national draft," following "heavy pressure" from McGuire. Witheriff revealed he "held talks this week with AFL chiefs, urging them to keep their promise on academies." Witheriff: "The commission needs to understand the implications of what it’s doing" (THE AGE, 7/23).

National Rugby League club chairmen have "stepped up plans to form a united front against the NRL over a push to link future funding to the appointment of independent directors," according to Honeysett & Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. The chairmen’s concerns were "raised a few weeks ago" when they met NRL CEO Dave Smith, where he revealed "details of the new funding model, which some have interpreted as a push by the NRL to try to remove some of the game's longest-serving administrators." Under the new funding model, it is proposed that clubs will "receive money each season but a portion of that is conserved as an 'at risk' payment." The NRL would have the ability to "take back that funding if specific criteria were not met in a range of areas, including corporate governance." The league wants clubs to "adopt a board structure that includes seven directors -- four of those would be elected by football club members while three others would be independent with at least one woman" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/24). In Sydney, Josh Massoud reported some of the "most powerful figures at club level met for lunch in Brighton to discuss the NRL's recently announced desire." NRL corporate governance guru Tony Crawford has "spent the past two months presenting the radical plan to club CEOs." The NRL is "already trying to recruit independent directors to help oversee Wests Tigers and Newcastle." But "stronger clubs like Canterbury, the Roosters, Penrith, Parramatta and South Sydney cannot fathom why they should accept directors from outside their organisations" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 7/24).

Nigeria National Sports Commission Minister & Chair Dr. Tamuno Danagogo has "revealed that he has a presidential mandate to ensure an end to the incessant crisis that has been rocking Nigerian football in recent years." He said that "given the huge passion which the people of Nigeria have developed in football, the federal government has no option to ensure that the template for the smooth running and administration of the game in line with FIFA Statutes were put in place" (ALL AFRICA, 7/22). ... India's Sports Ministry on Wednesday expressed "shock and outrage" over the "incident of two Sikh players being asked to remove their turbans" at the recently-concluded FIBA Asia Cup in China and sought details from the Basketball Federation of India, which has "already taken up the matter with the international body." Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that the ministry has "asked the IOC to issue necessary instructions to international sports federations, so that such incidents are not repeated." Sonowal: "We are shocked and outraged. Wearing a turban does not affect fair play and has not been objected to in international sports championships" (PTI, 7/23). ... The Int'l Paralympic Committee's development arm, the Agitos Foundation, announced that 28 IPC Member organizations from around the world will receive €650,000 ($875,000) of funding through the second edition of its grant support program. The program aims to support the development of both summer and winter para-sports through funding projects from national Paralympic committees, regional organizations, int'l federations and int'l organizations of sports for the disabled (IPC). ... A horse feed specialist "has launched an investigation after five racehorses, including the Queen's mare Estimate, tested positive for morphine." The failed post-race samples, revealed last week by the British Horseracing Authority, "are thought to be the result of consuming contaminated food" (BBC, 7/23). ... The Pakistan Cricket Board "is set next week to adopt a new constitution intended to make the appointment of its chairman more democratic and weaken political influence." The changes come as the board "prepares to hold a fresh election to end a long-running power struggle for the top job" (AFP, 7/23).