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Volume 7 No. 149

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Football League Players' Association CEO Paul Marsh would not have a problem with elite footballers' wages "being made public," similar to American professional sports leagues, according to the AAP. Most AFL players are "against the idea" to follow the lead of the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL to disclose player salaries "due to the likelihood of increased public scrutiny." But Marsh is "out of step with his members," taking an alternative view. He said, "I would have no issue with that. ... What we've seen in sports around the world is if this happens -- and this is a careful-what-you-wish-for situation -- is that players wages will go up significantly." He added, "Once everyone knows what everyone is getting, the market for players [will increase]" (THE AGE, 10/11).

RULE CHANGES: In Sydney, Greg Denham reported the AFL "encouraged players to showcase their skills" by implementing nine rule changes and interpretations for next season. To assist with a "faster-flowing contest" with less congestion, the package of changes was designed to protect the traditions of the code, while "enhancing its uniqueness," according to AFL GM of Football Operations Steve Hocking. The "most noticeable change," apart from set starting positions, will be at kick-ins. A player will no longer be required to kick it to himself to play on from the goal square once a behind has been signaled. The AFL "abandoned plans to extend the goal square" from 9m out to 18m (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/11).

Mining magnate and rugby philanthropist Andrew Forrest "remains hopeful" teams from western Sydney and New Zealand will join World Series Rugby despite the national unions from those countries "ruling out such a step" until at least '20, according to Georgina Robinson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Forrest's vision for an eight-team competition with a A$1M ($711,870) prize purse was "delivered a significant setback last month" when Rugby Australia and its counterpart in New Zealand indicated they "would not support his plan" to get a team each in western Sydney and New Zealand in time for the '19 season kickoff in March. With the new Super Rugby agreement to start in '21 and the global calendar on a similar time frame, RA and NSW Rugby "want more time to work out how a second professional team playing in a different competition would work in the existing landscape." But World Series organizers believed a '20 timeline was "feasible." A spokesperson said, "(Forrest's company) Minderoo is in ongoing discussions with both Rugby Australia and Rugby NSW in relation to the establishment of a WSR team in Western Sydney. RA and NSWRU have discussed with Minderoo the possibility of establishing the Western Sydney team in 2020 instead of 2019 to allow them to do what they believe is the required planning to ensure the team is successful and integrates into the NSW rugby system" (SMH, 10/11).

Sebastian Coe said that a decision on Russia will probably be made when the IAAF Council meets In Monaco on Dec. 4.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe said that a decision on whether Russia will have its ban from int'l competition lifted "will probably" be made in December. However, Coe admitted that "we will have to wait and see" if WADA was right to lift its three-year ban on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. He said about Russia's reinstatement, "There'll be a meet in the coming weeks with the Russian Athletics Federation. As we have always done in the past, we will wait for the recommendations of the working group and the Council will deliberate according to my recommendation" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/11).

Sexual consent workshops will be given to cricketers at senior and academy level for the first time under an initiative delivered by the Professional Cricketers' Association. It comes as the issue of sexual consent is "at the forefront of public discussion in the wake of the Me Too movement and a series of high-profile sexual assault allegations and cases." A pilot session will be held with the England Lions squad at the end of this month before being "rolled out to all first-class senior and academy squads next summer" (London TELEGRAPH, 10/10).

Australia has "thrown its weight behind a radical revamp" of the int'l rugby calendar which would have the world's top 12 nations all playing each other once every year "in a bid to improve revenues." World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said on Wednesday that the game's global governing body is "studying the feasibility of the proposal" that was revealed by Vice-Chair Agustín Pichot last month (REUTERS, 10/11).