FIA/Eurosport WRC talks break down


Negotiations between the FIA and Eurosport for the promotion of the World Rally Championship have broken down and international television coverage of next week's Rally Sweden appears unlikely.

The FIA issued a statement this evening confirming it has withdrawn from negotiations and will begin discussions with other interested parties.

The statement said: "The FIA regrets to announce it has not proven possible to find an international promoter as well as a global broadcaster for the 2012 World Rally Championship season at this stage in time.

"The Federation has been involved in lengthy and detailed discussions with interested parties but a series of issues proved impossible to reconcile, and it finally had to take the decision to withdraw from these negotiations."

The statement confirms that the timing and tracking systems - provided by British firm Stage 1 Technology - will be in place and funded by the FIA in Sweden.

"In addition to the usual sporting and technical services it provides for these events," the statement continued, "the FIA will finance the timing/tracking of each event so that the championship can take place in the best conditions.

"Teams, manufacturers and the other stakeholders have all been informed of this situation.

"The FIA will now open discussions with all the other parties which have expressed interest in the promotion of the WRC in order to guarantee the future development and growth of the FIA World Rally Championship."

Ford director of European motorsport Gerard Quinn said: "I'm disappointed to read the press release from the FIA, but we will continue to work with the FIA for the benefit of the championship.

"The news that discussions will be opened with interested parties is positive and we look forward, as stakeholders, to taking part in those discussions soon."

There has been speculation that the FIA could leave the promotion and television filming and distribution to individual event organisers if it is unable to secure a global promoter. Quinn admitted such an outcome would be in nobody's favour.

"That would be totally impractical," he said. "As a long-term solution that would not give the manufacturers, the participants, the organisers or the fans or anybody in the sport what we want. This is a global sport which needs a global promoter."

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