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Home > India > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Mosley faces call to quit following sexual allegations

April 01, 2008 18:49 IST

Max Mosley faced calls for his resignation on Tuesday after weekend newspaper allegations that the head of Formula One's governing body took part in a Nazi-style orgy with prostitutes.

The Times newspaper said in a leader column that Mosley must stand down while Ferrari's [Images] 1979 world champion Jody Scheckter called for a concerted media campaign to force the Briton's hand.

"There is absolutely no question in my mind that Mosley should resign," South African Scheckter told The Guardian newspaper.

"From a purely motor racing point of view, you can't have somebody like this running the sport or any other sport come to that."

The Times said Mosley was as entitled as anyone to his fantasies but the question of whether he could continue at the helm of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) had become a moral question and not a legal one.

"He should resign," the paper concluded.

Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone told The Times that it would be better for Mosley not to attend Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

"He shouldn't go, should he?," he said.

"The problem is he would take all the ink away from the race and put it on something which, honestly and truly, is nobody else's business anyway," added the Briton.

The News of the World tabloid, from the same News International stable as The Times, published a front page story on Sunday with photographs of a man they identified as Mosley.

Mosley was unavailable for comment and the FIA said on Sunday that his lawyers were in contact with the newspaper. A video that had been posted on the News of the World Web site (nowt.co.uk) was no longer accessible.

An FIA spokesman could not confirm Mosley's immediate plans.

"We understand that Mr Mosley was originally scheduled to visit the grand prix, but we are not aware of his current plans," an FIA spokesman said.

Ecclestone, who controls the commercial side of Formula One while Mosley oversees the governing FIA, said Bahrain's rulers would not welcome Mosley's presence.

"They wouldn't like it," he said.

However the 77-year-old Briton, who has worked closely with Mosley for decades, said he would not be calling for his compatriot to quit.

"What Max should do is what he thinks is right because it is only him that's involved, not the FIA," said Ecclestone. "He must do what he believes, in his heart of hearts, is the right thing."

Ecclestone said the Nazi connotations made the incident more serious. Mosley's late father Oswald was founder of the pre-war British Union of Fascists.

© Copyright 2008 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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