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SBD Global/October 8, 2013/Events and AttractionsPrint All
The Hong Kong FA will introduce potential "giant killers" this season to add excitement to the FA Cup, which will be expanded to a 16-team tournament, according to Alvin Sallay of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. In a bid to "boost youth development and make the FA Cup more exciting," the HKFA has "taken the ambitious step" of including the four semifinalists from the Junior Shield competition among the 12 teams in the RedMR First Division for the knockout tournament later this season. Further down the line, the HKFA is also "toying with the idea of expanding the FA Cup to include other clubs" in Hong Kong also taking part in the preliminary stages before "joining the big boys in the latter stages." This move "to add spice to the FA Cup will be welcomed," as in recent years the tournament has lost a little of its luster "with some of the bigger clubs preferring to rest their key players for league encounters" (SCMP, 10/8).
The Super League Grand Final "will be contested at" Old Trafford in Manchester, England until at least '17 after "an agreement was reached to extend the current deal." Warrington Wolves will take on Wigan Warriors on Saturday evening and the event "will remain at the Theatre of Dreams for four more years" (SKY SPORTS, 10/4). ... The Int'l Cricket Council announced that the final stages of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier will be held at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The revised schedule now sees the final four days of the tournament in Abu Dhabi (ICC). ... The NBA's Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets "arrived in the basketball-mad Philippines" Monday for the southeast Asian nation's first NBA preseason game. Organizers said ticket sales "have been brisk despite the steep price." By Monday afternoon, "the only available seats were courtside," costing between $770 and $1,200 -- around "80 times the average daily wage of an ordinary labourer in Manila" (AFP, 10/7). ... Bilbao, Spain's Bizkaia Arena is "aspiring to host the U.S. national team's games" during next year's FIBA World Cup. The arena on Sunday hosted an exhibition game between ACB side Bilbao Basket and the NBA Philadelphia 76ers. Because Bizkaia Arena is hoping the U.S. will be playing in the games it hosts during the FIBA World Cup, "it was polished for Sunday's game" (EL PAIS, 10/6).