Friday April 7th, 2000
The European Union and its member states could be treated as a single country and only host two grands prix a year in the future, International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Max Mosley said on Friday. Mosley confirmed at a news conference ahead of the San Marino Grand Prix that a recent meeting of the FIA's world motor sport council had decided to make such a proposal to the ruling body's general assembly.
The council had reached that decision after discussing the protracted dispute between the FIA and the EU competition watchdog over the handling of television rights.
No single country has hosted more than two world championship races in a season - the likely limit should Europe be regarded that way.
Eleven of this year's world championship rounds will be staged in Europe.
On Thursday, the FIA made clear it would not renew the contracts for any of its Formula One world championship races in the EU until the laws affecting the dispute were clarified satisfactorily.
Mosley added to this position of resolution when he criticised the way the EU had handled the dispute.
"They sent out a letter which said each team should be able to deal with its own television rights - an idea they had taken from football which is not practicable in Formula One," he said.
"They are suggesting each circuit and team could handle its own rights. This showed a high level of stupidity and they later had to apologise for it. It is a waste of time."
Mosley confirmed that the FIA was in talks with other international sporting bodies in order to try and resolve the dispute. He said the FIA planned to host a meeting in Paris on the governance of sport later this year.
This would involve the IOC, FIFA and IAAF, said Mosley. He said UEFA was currently working out its own direction in this dispute.
Mosley also said that he had urged the EU to throw open its planned hearing in Brussels on May 10-12 on competition in sport.
"We asked them to let us in, or to let in the media, but they want to hold the hearing in secret," he said.