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Page last updated at 20:21 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 21:21 UK

Pressure mounts on Mosley to quit

By Matt Slater

Max Mosley
Mosley has been president of the Paris-based FIA for 15 years

World motorsport boss Max Mosley is facing fresh calls to resign following allegations about his private life.

Germany's national motoring body, ADAC, wants Mosley to reconsider his role as FIA boss while the American Automobile Association said he should stand down.

And Dutch motorsport federation, KNAF, has said it will vote against him at an FIA extraordinary general assembly.

But Mosley is refusing to go and has begun legal action against the newspaper which published the claims.

The News of the World reported on Sunday that Mosley took part in a "Nazi-style orgy in a torture dungeon". He has denied any Nazi connotations.

Mosley, who is claiming "unlimited damages", is expected to sue the newspaper on the grounds of its sting being an invasion of his privacy. This means attacking the "Nazi-style" claim as that is likely to be the newspaper's basis for a public interest defence.

The AAA has conveyed to Mr Mosley that it would be in the best interest of all concerned if he were to step down

American Automobile Association statement

But any legal victory for Mosley may prove to be a pyrrhic one as his reputation in the eyes of the FIA's members has taken a devastating blow.

"Because of his high-profile position, this can't be accepted," KNAF president Arie Ruitenbeek told BBC Sport.

"I have not received my invitation yet (to the FIA meeting), but we will go and will vote for him to resign."

The president of the Israeli automobile club (MEMSI) - another member association of the FIA - has said he is "shocked" by the recent revelations surrounding Mosley.

Yitzhak Milstein, president of MEMSI, told BBC Sport: "The facts, as published in the last few days, are shocking.

"It is especially surprising for us in view of the fact that our contacts with Mr. Mosley along the years have always been proper and correct, and never gave an indication of what the recent story may reflect.

According to FIA rules, an extraordinary general assembly must convene within three months of it being called - invites and an agenda go out with at least six weeks' notice
The format is expected to be "one country, one vote" - countries with more than one member will have to agree their position, if they cannot it will be a blank vote
Members and officers can be expelled if "by words, deeds or writings they inflict moral injury and loss on the FIA"
Decisions shall be taken by simple majority - in the event of a tie, the president gets the casting vote

"Once the whole thing is clarified - and there is a better idea on how true the story is - we will make our conclusions known. And they will certainly match the severity of the matter."

The American Automobile Association (AAA) has added its influential voice to the clamour for Mosley to step down.

"Recent events involving the leadership of the FIA have been very distressing and embarrassing," said Yolanda Clark Cade, the AAA's public relations director.

"The AAA recognises that Mr Mosley has dedicated many years of his life to advancing the interests of mobility and motorsport.

"However, after careful consideration, AAA has conveyed to Mr Mosley that it would be in the best interest of all concerned if he were to step down."

On Thursday, Mosley called an extraordinary session of the assembly as pressure on him to quit escalated ahead of this weekend's Bahrain GP.

In a statement, the FIA said the session will be held in Paris at the earliest possible date.

Leading car manufacturers BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Toyota, who all have F1 teams, have issued statements calling on the FIA to replace Mosley.

A statement from ADAC, Europe's largest motoring organisation, said: "In a letter to FIA president Max Mosley, ADAC has distanced itself from events surrounding his person.

"The role of an FIA president who represents more than 100 million motorists worldwide should not be burdened by such an affair. Therefore, we ask the president to very carefully reconsider his role within the organisation."

Britain's member associations of the FIA have not been drawn into the debate as yet. Three of the member groups, the MSA (Motor Sports Association), the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) and the AA (Automobile Association), refused to comment when contacted by BBC Sport.

I'm happy with Max, I don't have any problems at all with Max

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone

But a spokesman for the Caravan Club, which does not expect to have a vote at the meeting, said: "Immaterial of the current situation, we feel it is time for Max Mosley to step down and have done for some time."

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has commented, but in noncommittal fashion.

"This is an FIA thing, this is nothing to do with anyone else," Ecclestone told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It doesn't affect us in any shape or form. It's not what I think, it's what other people think.

"I'm happy with Max, I don't have any problems at all with Max.

"Max will know what he needs to do, he is the president of the FIA, he is the one who will decide what goes on in the FIA, not me."

There was, however, some support for Mosley. Paulo Enéas Scaglione, the president of Brazil's motorsport confederation (CBA), told BBC Sport "a person's private life must be inviolable".

Scaglione added that Mosley's position depended "only on his wish to fully complete a mandate recognised by the FIA's assembly" - he even suggested the beleaguered boss could stand for re-election when his current four-year tenure finishes in October 2009.

Mosley wrote to all of the FIA's 222 members - national motoring organisations from 130 countries - earlier this week to apologise for any embarrassment the affair had caused.

The FIA is a non-profit making association that represents the interests of motoring organisations throughout the world. It is also the governing body of international motorsport.

see also
FIA to hold Mosley crisis meeting
03 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Mosley will not attend Bahrain GP
03 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Defiant Mosley vows to fight on
01 Apr 08 |  Formula One

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