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APAC Round-Up: IOC-athletics talks, FA budget slashed, Abu Dhabi T10 go-ahead, and more

Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe told the Financial Times that the organisation is in talks with the International Olympic Committee about how much of athletics’ planned share of this year’s Olympic revenues it will receive.

The FT said World Athletics received between $40m (€36.6m) and $45m from the $540m distributed to Olympic sports in total from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Coe said: “Like many Olympic sports, we are very grateful but also reliant on the share of the IOC broadcast revenues.

“We work in that four-year business cycle [between summer games] and not having those revenues in the year that we were planning means that we have to be very careful.”

The International Olympic Committee distributes revenue to international federations in different tiers based on their audience and size.

Asked at the start of April if advance payments could be made to international federations who rely on the Olympic money, Kit McConnell, the IOC’s sports director, said that talks were ongoing about any support the IOC can provide but it was “too early to speculate”.

One of the measures WA is launching in response to the Covid-19 crisis is a ‘hardship fund’ for athletes, worth at least $500,000.

European football

The Deutsche Fußball Liga, the German football league, said ten out of 1,700 people tested positive for Covid-19 during testing ahead of the league’s planned restart this month, Reuters reports. Players and coaching staff were tested at 36 Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga teams. The German government is expected to decide today whether to allow the restart to go ahead.

Teams in the top two divisions of Spain’s LaLiga are returning to training this week for the first time since Covid-19 halted it, SuperSport reports. Players are to be tested for the virus before being allowed to train. The league is planning to resume its 2019-20 season in June.

Teams in Portugal’s top division, the Primeira Liga, also resumed training this week.

The English Football Association is cutting its annual budget by £75m (€85.6m/$93.4m) to offset the deficit caused by the pandemic. The budget cut could stay in place for four years in the “worst-case scenario”, FA chairman Greg Clarke said in a letter on the organisation’s website.

Amiens is the latest French football team to agitate against the cancellation of the country’s 2019-20 season. The team has been relegated from Ligue 1, and has launched an online petition asking the league to conduct the top-tier with 22 teams next season, with no relegation and including the two promoted teams from Ligue 2. Ligue 1 team Lyon at the weekend threatened to sue the league.

Cricket

Australia’s sports minister Richard Colbeck said he would “really like” to see this year’s T20 Cricket World Cup go ahead as planned in the country, but that there remained significant hurdles, the Hindustan Times reports. He picked out the likely need to keep fans out of stadiums and the definite need for “appropriate quarantine and bio-security protocols”, as examples.

The Abu Dhabi T10 cricket tournament will take place on November 19 to 28, its organisers have said, The Hindu reports.

Other news

Japan’s Summer Grand Sumo Tournament, which was due to take place from May 24 to June 7 in Tokyo, has been cancelled, Kyodo News reports. The Japan Sumo Association decided against running the tournament behind closed doors, and made its decision shortly after prime minister Shinzo Abe extended until the end of this month the nationwide ‘state of emergency’ due to Covid-19. The most recent top-level sumo event, the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka in March, was held behind closed doors.

Indian startup Rooter, a ‘sports community platform’, raised $1.7m in a pre-Series A funding round. Investors include Indian financial services platform Paytm and the Dassler family-backed fund leAD Sports.