SEPTEMBER 19, 2006
Turkey shoot in the Place de la Concorde?
Today is the day when the FIA World Council will decide what to do about the Turkish Grand Prix podium business with a special session to hear representatives of national sporting authority TOSFED and the race promoter MSO. If the FIA does not act strongly it will send out bad signals for the whole sport and will open the way for similar political gestures. Thus a fine is not really a workable solution as money is not really an issue at government level, particularly if a political statement is successfully made. The option is some kind of censure but anything suspended is meaningless and so the only real option if the FIA is to show its teeth is to impose some form of ban on the Turks for a period of time. If that is less than a year, it is equally irrelevant as the Grand Prix will escape the ban and thus there will have been no real punishment beyond the cancellation of a round of the World Touring Car Championship (scheduled for September 24) and the Turkish Rally, a round of the WRC due to take place on October 12-15.
The FIA said after the Turkish GP that its political neutrality is fundamental to its role as the governing body of international motor sport and that it will accept "no compromise or violation of this neutrality". Thus we must accept a serious punishment for the Turks.
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