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). 

Stay connected and subscribe to our latest insights and views 

Subscribe Here