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Mosley wins confidence vote
June 04, 2008 11:19 IST
Motor racing's world governing body gave Max Mosley a strong vote of confidence to remain as president on Tuesday despite his involvement in a lurid sex scandal.
In a secret ballot at an extraordinary meeting of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) general assembly in Paris, the 68-year-old Briton gained 103 votes to 55 against.
The FIA said there were seven abstentions and four invalid votes.
Mosley had ignored calls to quit since March when the tabloid News of the World newspaper published details and photographs of his involvement in what was described as a Nazi-style sado-masochistic orgy with prostitutes.
An FIA spokesman said Mosley, who has been in office since 1993 and has said that he intends to stand down at the end of his current term in October 2009, would be making no comment on the outcome.
The FIA president, whose father Oswald was the founder of the pre-World War Two British Union of Fascists, has denied any Nazi connotations to the scandal and is taking legal action against the News of the World for invasion of privacy.
His win, while welcomed by some national motorsport associations, triggered a hostile response from FIA member organisations representing millions of the world's ordinary motorists.
It was also expected to receive a frosty reception in Formula One, with some major manufacturers and former champions joining commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone in calling for Mosley to quit.
Germany's [Images] ADAC, Europe's biggest Automobile Association, immediately announced that they had frozen their participation in FIA working groups.
"ADAC views with regret and incredulity, the FIA general assembly's decision in Paris confirming Max Mosley in office as FIA president," ADAC said in a statement.
"ADAC will stay with its decision as long as Max Mosley holds the top FIA office as president.
Robert Darbelnet, president of the American Automobile Association (AAA) with more than 50 million members in the United States, told reporters that the AAA would review its position.
"It's a very unfortunate outcome, a very unfortunate day for the FIA," he said, adding that he had not been convinced by Mosley's arguments.
"Our main interest is the motorist in general and this is not the type of behaviour that in any organisation that I am familiar with would be condoned," he said of the sex scandal.
"I can't think of an organisation that would have arrived at the result that was arrived at here today."
Guido van Woerkom, president of the Royal Dutch Touring Club, said he had voted against Mosley and warned that the FIA faced the risk of future schism with the Briton likely to be cold-shouldered for his remaining time in office.
"I think we will survive the period to November 2009 but if the next president is a purely sport man, then that will certainly be the end of the cooperation between the mobility and sport clubs in the FIA," he said.
Van Woerkom said he was personally convinced there was no Nazi element to the scandal but that is a side issue.
"The main issue is was he credible to represent us in the world of mobility and sport and I don't think if you have that behaviour you are a credible man," he said.
Australian FIA delegate Garry Connelly said the atmosphere in the assembly had been calm and polite and hoped the world body, representing 222 national motoring organisations in 130 countries, could now unite and move on.
"There's people talking about breakaways but frankly the FIA has achieved amazing things in its 100 year history and it would be crazy to think that its not going to achieve even more and better things in future," he said.
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