Sports Ticker (21st Dec 2020) - post-Brexit football signings, claim against Rugby Unions’ governing bodies for brain damage and the provision of free-to-air coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Published on 22 December 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from around the sports industry.

Access the full Sports Ticker here.

In our final edition of 2020, we consider post-Brexit arrangements for football signings, Steve Thompson’s claim against Rugby Unions’ governing bodies for brain damage and the provision of free-to-air coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in Sub-Saharan Africa.  We also take a look at the inaugural cycling eSports World Championship as well as Ralph Lauren being named the official outfitter of the Australian Open. 

Tokyo 2020 Paralympics coverage for Sub-Saharan Africa

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has agreed to waive broadcast rights fees in order to provide free-to-air coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games to parts of Sub-Saharan Africa - an area that has previously only broadcast limited coverage of the Games.  

Premier League, EFL and FA agree post-Brexit transfers

With the end of the transition period in sight, the Premier League, EFL and FA have agreed to a new “points-based system” for overseas player signings post-Brexit. 

Steve Thompson to sue governing bodies in brain damage claim

2003 Rugby World Cup winner Steve Thompson is one of 8 former players claiming that the game has left them with permanent brain damage, after recently stating that he “can’t remember any of those [Rugby World Cup] games”. 

Australian Open - Ralph Lauren named “official outfitter”

Ralph Lauren has expanded its tennis sponsorship portfolio as the Australian Open’s new “official outfitter”. Starting in 2021, the brand will kit out all on-court and off-court officials, including executives, umpires, lines people and ball kids. 

Cycling x eSports World Championships launch

The inaugural 2020 UCI Zwift Cycling eSports World Championships launched last week (9 December) with Germany’s Jason Osborne and South Africa’s Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio taking the victory in the men’s and women’s races, respectively. 


Extra time... 

…and finally, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has told athletes they can “feel confident” about receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 without breaching the World Anti-Doping Code. In Ticker 26 we covered recent concerns raised in the House of Lords that new vaccines could be open to abuse by sports dopers. UKAD’s clarification follows a statement from the World Anti-Doping Agency in the previous  week which also played  down fears that COVID-19 vaccines could contain banned substances and made clear that there is “no reason to believe” the vaccines would break anti-doping rules. These key updates from sports’ anti-doping bodies should offer all professional sports people a greater sense of clarity on the status of the new vaccines going in 2021 after what has been an exceptionally challenging year across all disciplines. (Read UKAD’s full statement here).