Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 30th 2013 Contents A51
Thursday, May 30, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PORT LOUIS---With world foot-
ball leaders under pressure to
make concrete progress in
reform, Fifa President Sepp Blat-
ter took time to praise one of the
four women vying to become the
body s first permanent female
executive committee member.
In his first public speech in
Mauritius yesterday at the Asian
Football Confederation s regional
congress, Blatter called Australian
candidate Moya Dodd "a good
candidate and a good-looking can-
didate," adding he preferred the
term "lady" to female when refer-
ring to the new position.
"I can tell you she s good. She s
very good. So good luck," Blatter
said of Dodd, a former Australia
international who is now a lawyer
and an AFC vice president.
Dodd will compete against can-
didates from Burundi, Turks and
Caicos Islands and New Zealand
at the Fifa Congress for a newly-
created four-year term for a
woman on the governing body s
executive committee, with the
winner becoming the first perma-
nent female member.
Dodd said she was not offended
by Blatter s view of her.
"I was more focused on his ear-
lier comments that I was a good
candidate, a very good candidate,"
Dodd said. "Knowing him as I do,
I certainly took no offense."
The meeting was presided over
by newly elected AFC President
Sheik Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khal-
ifa, who Blatter also complimented
while taking a swipe at the former
leader and Blatter s one-time rival
for the Fifa leadership, Mohamed
It was good for the AFC "to get
back the full trust and confidence
in the leadership," Blatter said.
Paving the way for the direction
of the main Fifa Congress, which
runs Thursday and Friday, Blatter
confirmed in his brief speech
before leaving to applause that he
would ask Fifa s 209 member
countries to defer a decision on
introducing age and term limits
for senior officials, sending it
instead to the 2014 congress for
possible debate. (AP)
squash make IOC list
President of International wrestling federation Nenad Lalovic speaks to the
Media after the IOC presentation of wrestling as a candidate sports for the
2020 Olympics at the SportAccord International Convention in St Petersburg,
Russia, yesterday. AP PHOTO
ST PETERSBURG---Three months
after being dropped from the 2020
Olympics, wrestling won a reprieve
yesterday and made the IOC shortlist
for inclusion in the games.
Also making the cut were squash and
a combined baseball-softball bid.
Eight sports were vying for a single
opening on the line-up. Eliminated from
contention were five sports---karate,
roller sports, sport climbing, wake-
boarding and the Chinese martial art
The IOC executive board will submit
wrestling, squash and baseball-softball
to the full IOC assembly for a final deci-
sion on September 8 in Buenos Aires,
"The match is not finished," said
Nenad Lalovic, the recently-elected
president of international wrestling fed-
eration FILA. "We have a second match
to fight. But be careful, we are good
Wrestling, with a tradition dating to
the ancient Olympics, was surprisingly
cut from the list of core sports by the
IOC board in February. The decision
caused an international outcry and
prompted the United States, Russia,
Iran and other countries to join forces
in a bid to bring the sport back.
Wrestling has freestyle and Greco-
Roman events, but the sport has gone
through a major upheaval since the
rejection. Raphael Martinetti resigned
as FILA president and was replaced by
Lalovic, women and athletes were
brought into decision-making roles, and
changes were enacted to make the sport
Among the changes, matches will
consist of two three-minute sessions
instead of three two-minute periods,
and scoring will be cumulative instead
of the previous best-of-three system.
"For sure the rule changes helped
us," Lalovic said. "We had to do it much
The decision on the shortlist came
after the eight sports federations made
30-minute closed-door presentations
to the IOC executive board.
The board voted by secret ballot over
several rounds, with wrestling winning
on the first round with eight of the 14
Baseball-softball beat karate 9-5 in
a head-to-vote to win its spot on the
list. Squash got through in the final
round, getting eight votes to defeat
wushu with four and sport climbing
"It was never going to be an easy
decision but I feel my colleagues on the
board made a good decision in selecting
baseball-softball, squash and wrestling
to be put forward in Buenos Aires," IOC
President Jacques Rogge said in a state-
ment. "I wish the three shortlisted sports
the best of luck in the run-up to the
vote in September and would like to
thank the other sports for their hard
work and dedication."
Men s baseball and women s softball,
which have been off the programme
since the 2008 Beijing Games, merged
into a single federation to improve their
chances of getting back in. The two
were cut by the IOC in 2005, the first
sports dropped since polo in 1936.
"We are humbled and honored," said
Riccardo Fraccari, co-president of the
World Baseball Softball Confederation.
"The decision motivates us to work
even harder on behalf of the athletes."
The sports are proposing separate
baseball and softball events of eight
teams each, played as back-to-back
six-day tournaments at a single venue.
"We re in the seventh inning now,"
WBSC co-president Don Porter said.
Squash is bidding for Olympic inclu-
sion for a third time. The sport is pro-
posing knock-out singles championships
for 32 male and 32 female players.
"I said to the executive board that
the one big regret in my career is that
I have never had the chance to compete
in the Olympic Games, but I would
happily trade all my seven world titles
for the chance of Olympic gold,"
women s No 1 Nicol David of Malaysia
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