The fall-out from Formula 1's 'Singapore-gate' scandal could be set to cost Flavio Briatore more than just his job and involvement in the top flight, it has emerged – with the revelation that the Football League has requested from the FIA more details regarding the Italian's ban.
Following the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) hearing in Paris yesterday (Monday), it was announced that Briatore has been banned indefinitely from working in F1 or even entering the paddock at FIA-sanctioned events, with any team that employs him or any driver who continues to make use of his management services – currently including Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen – not to be entitled to compete at the highest level [see separate story – click here
However, the flamboyant Italian is also co-owner of Championship football club Queens Park Rangers (QPR) – in company with F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal – as well as chairman of the holding company that owns the London club and a board director. Football League rules state that nobody can own, direct or hold a majority interest in a club if they are banned by a sport's governing body.
“The Football League chairman, Lord Mawhinney, has today written to the FIA to request further details of its decision,” a Football League spokesman is quoted as having said by The Guardian
. “Thereafter, the League will consider its position on the matter.”
It is understood that 59-year-old Briatore – like former executive director of engineering Pat Symonds, who similarly left Renault F1 prior to the WMSC reunion over the race-fixing furore – did not attend the ruling as he is away on holiday.
The Enstone-based outfit elected not to contest the charges levied against it by former driver Nelsinho Piquet, that Briatore and Symonds had instructed him to deliberately crash out of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix in order to allow team-mate Fernando Alonso to win the sport's inaugural night race from a disadvantaged grid slot.
There has been no comment on the matter from QPR.