Premier Silvio Berlusconi and his ministers interrupted their summer vacations Tuesday to approve a decree dealing with a financial scandal staining Italy's soccer world. \nThe scandal, as well as the failure of a half-dozen clubs to secure contracts for television rights, has hung over these last few weeks as teams prepare for the season's start, the weekend of Aug. 30-31. \n"It falls to me even to get soccer in order," Berlusconi was quoted as saying about the specially convened afternoon Cabinet meeting in an interview in the conservative daily Libero. \nOn the eve of the meeting, Italy's soccer league president declared that the season would start on time despite the scandal, which revolves around guarantees that clubs are sound. \nWithout such guarantees, implying that clubs will be able to pay salaries of players, personnel as well as other expenses, teams can be blocked from playing in the league. \nThe decree passed Tuesday would prevent tribunals from deciding whether a team was fit financially. \nRecently, such a tribunal in a small city in southern Calabria ruled that Naples' team Napoli should be demoted from the B league to the C level because of doubts raised about its credit soundness by the scandal. The decision sparked protests by fans in the city. Catania was bumped up to take its place. \nThe decree would keep decisions involving teams in the hands of the courts in the sports world, except for top-level appeals. \nGovernment coalition politicians with constituencies in both cities had been concerned about the tribunal's decision. \nBerlusconi, who has been railing for years about Italy's courts because of his own judicial woes stemming from probes of his media empire, didn't miss the occasion to attack the administrative tribunals. \n"Now the judges are invading even the [soccer] standings," Libero quoted the premier as saying. \nThe crossover between administrative justice and sporting tribunal decisions "is creating a lot of confusion," said Communications Minister Maurizio Gasparri. \nNapoli is one of four clubs, including Serie A team AS Roma, under investigation for questionable financial documentation that allowed the clubs to enroll in the upcoming series. \nProsecutors are looking into whether crimes were committed in the case, in which the clubs obtained credit guarantees to pay debts through a company that didn't have the funds to cover the amounts. \nThe clubs contend they were victims of fraud. \nThe failure of several clubs to secure contracts for television rights also loomed as a threat to the start of the season. \nLast year, the season's start was stalled for two weeks over TV negotiations.
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympic Games has said that he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu, was paid US$8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, financial records showed. Takahashi said the work included lobbying International Olympic Committee (IOC) members such as Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital
If British industry succeeds in saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would in part be thanks to the pioneering role played by Formula One (F1) racing teams in the country. Seven of F1’s 10 teams have joined forces with leading aerospace and engineering firms to ramp up production of ventilators, while Mercedes has also worked with medics and academics to produce an alternative breathing aid. Normally obsessed with improving the performance of cars that race at more than 320kph, the teams are stripping back lifesaving devices and using computer simulation to test whether more simplified models can be mass produced. The seven
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning to play a charity golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday. CNBC, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said that the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The negotiations are still being finalized, but the match pitting 15-time major champion Woods and Manning against five-time major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, CNBC said. “Discussions