A-League in turmoil after Jets owners try to quit

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NEWCASTLE, Australia (AP) -- Australia's A-League has plunged deeper into turmoil after Football Federation Australia refused to allow the owner of the Newcastle Jets to relinquish the club's license.

The Hunter Sports Group, owned by mining magnate Nathan Tinkler, announced Tuesday that it was handing back its A-League license due to irreconcilable breakdown with the FFA. The announcement led to speculation that the A-League might have to be reduced to nine teams less than a week after the FFA announced it was bankrolling a new club in western Sydney to fill the void created when it revoked the A-League license for Gold Coast United.

But the FFA countered later Tuesday by saying Tinkler's group was legally bound by a club participation agreement that doesn't expire until 2020.