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Motor Racing

World Rallying Championship in trouble after plug is pulled on promoter


Rallying's governing body was last night in urgent talks to try to secure the future of the World Championship after cancelling its contract with promoters North One Sport (NOS) just 10 days before the Monte Carlo season-opener.

The International Automobile Federation said in a statement that NOS had "conspicuously failed" to deliver its contractual obligations for 2012 and beyond and was in breach of contract.

NOS was bought last year by Convers Sports Initiatives, owned by Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov, and is now in administration.

Antonov has been arrested and bailed in Britain along with his Lithuanian business partner Raimondas Baranauskas on suspicion of fraud and large-scale embezzlement.

The FIA said that it had been notified of at least seven expressions of interest to buy North One but none had come to anything.

"Not only has NOS failed to perform in accordance with its contract, it has also been unable to secure the essential investment required to enable it to deliver the Championship," the FIA said.