Mosley attacks legal interference in sport

MAX MOSLEY spoke out last week about legal interference in motor racing, during a conference in Rome about sport and its relationship with the law. "Risk is part of certain sports," the FIA President said. "In certain countries one can be prosecuted for an racing accident and be condemned for breaking the law. This denies the very nature of the sport. There is a difference between losing control of a car and breaking the traffic code."

Mosley was careful not to mention the trial currently taking place in Italy over the accident that befell Ayrton Senna at Imola in 1994. Mosley is campaigning for a Pan-European law to standardize the legal situation for racers in Europe.

The FIA has also hit out at the recent German ruling over the TV rights for the European Truck Cup. The FIA was found to have acted in an anti-competitive way and was ordered to release the rights to individual race organizers.

In a press briefing entitled "European Competition Law: Formula 1 and Motor Sport in general" the FIA gave its arguments as to why the central marketing of F1's TV rights is not anti-competitive, arguing that the central marketing of F1 for the last 25 years have made F1 what it is today. This is a good argument as it has increased the number of viewers around the world and raised the standards of the broadcasting. The document argued that marketing individual events with hundreds of different TV companies would simply result in chaos and concluded that "the attempt to prevent the FIA using central marketing to bring free terrestrial television to millions of motor sport viewers in Europe is little short of scandalous."

The document contained a thinly-veiled threat that "the number of races in the European Union would decrease from the present 10 to perhaps two or three or even fewer" if the FIA was forced to release the TV rights and that "this would have a major effect on certain local economies."

The document pointed out that only 15 of the 113 member countries of the FIA are in European Union and the EU makes up only 20% of the viewership of Grand Prix racing - and that is likely to decrease as new TV markets open up in the Far East and Eastern Europe.

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