Windies turn to government
Protesting West Indies players have turned to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Governments for help in their current impasse with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). At the same time, the WICB reaffirmed its commitment to start paying out money owed to the players under what agreements it believes it had already established with them. These are the latest developments in the continuing saga between the two sides which has led to the leading West Indies players making themselves unavailable for the ongoing home series against Bangladesh. The West Indies Players’ Association said late on Wednesday that it had written to Guyana President Bharat Jagdeo to seek his intervention. Jagdeo is the current chairman of the Heads of Government of CARICOM committee, which is similar in its composition and function to the African Union.
United cancel Jakarta game
Manchester United have canceled the Jakarta leg of their Asia tour after the hotel where they were due to stay in the Indonesian capital was bombed yesterday. The English champions were scheduled to play against an Indonesia “All Star” team on Monday on the second leg of their preseason tour, which also included stops in Malaysia, South Korea and China. The team canceled the trip, however, after bomb blasts ripped through the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta’s business district.
TV deal irks Old Firm clubs
Celtic and Rangers, the richest and most powerful clubs in Scottish soccer, have condemned the Scottish Premier League’s decision to accept a £65 million (US$107 million) broadcasting deal with Sky and ESPN. The 12 SPL clubs agreed, in a non-unanimous vote, to accept the contract that will see 60 live games screened per season but deliver only about half the income of the previous deal with Irish broadcaster Setanta, which has gone into administration. The new arrangement with satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting and Walt Disney Co’s sports TV newtwork ESPN will last until the end of the 2011-2012 season with an option for a further two years but the Old Firm clubs are unhappy with it. “The whole SPL is now a commercial victim, in an uncompetitive TV market, in the middle of a recession, locked in for years to an income some 60 percent lower than last year’s bid,” Celtic chairman John Reid told www.celticfc.net. Celtic and Rangers have previously discussed the idea of buying the rights themselves and Reid said his club “reserved the right to continue to explore those options.”
Austria bans the ‘vuvuzela’
The Austrian professional soccer league on Thursday imposed a stadium ban on the vuvuzela, the long plastic trumpet that made such a noisy impression in last month’s Confederations Cup in South Africa. But the league said the vuvuzela was being banned not for the deafening and tuneless din they produce, but because they might be used as missiles. “Vuvuzelas can be used as projectiles. Furthermore, they can incite aggressive behaviour amongst other fans,” Austrian league spokesman Christian Kircher said. The trumpets caused consternation among some in South Africa for the Confederations Cup, with several non-African players and coaches calling for their ban. But FIFA president Sepp Blatter has given them his blessing, blasting the detractors by telling them Africa is about dance and music and that moaning about the instrument bordered on discrimination.